The US Department of Labor indicated the hospitality industry was one of the fastest growing sectors.  The International Spa Association (ISPA) 2016 annual reports states the revenue from the spa industry reached $16.3B an all-time high. In the 2016 edition of Trends in the Hotel Spa, Industry report showed spa revenue grew at a faster pace than room revenue; the last time this occurred was in 2007. The numbers haven’t gone unnoticed by big business – West Elm is set to furnish and manage a set of hotels.  Equinox is also looking to expand the brand into hotels and spas. Even Zappos, one of the largest online retailers, is looking to branch into hotels, wellness centers, and even hospitals in the next few years. Since you can’t have a hotel without a spa these days, means, even more, growth for the industry.
Inside the industry, beauty products have become the real revenue generators; Statista noted beauty products generate $55B in sales for 2015. The effects of which can be seen with Dermalogica being purchased by Unilever, owner of Lipton tea and Hellmann’s mayo. Johnson and Johnson own well-known brands of Aveeno and Neutrogena. Ulta beauty on one of the largest beauty stores reached $3.9B in sales in 2015.
Where does this leave the smaller less established spa and beauty retail brands? In a very good position, these smaller locations can adapt quickly to the consumer’s demand and even predict the next big trend by listening to front-line employees interacting with the guest every day. With boutique retailers like Follian(@shopfollian), whose mission is to be an alternative to the traditional beauty store. Follian offers customers hand selected products and brands which are results oriented and eco-friendly in four locations across the US. There is also Milk Makeup (@milkmakeup), one of the new hot make-up lines designed for the girl on the go, with a “high concept, low maintenance” and using the best ingredients. The line has been picked up by Urban Outfitters. Then there is the bright burning star of Anastasia Beverly Hill, whose celebrity-branded lipstick sold out in 30 seconds, the company was recently purchased by L’Oréal.
Again, big business knows a trend when it sees it, but what the boutique retails and product lines have the ability to be nimble and anticipate the needs of the consumer before a request is made, with less overhead and red-tape. The small beauty business can focus on the mission for starting the company and convey that message to the new majority of beauty consumer – Millennials.  In turn, consumers continue to come back for great products, exceptional service and support the why of a business’s purpose ~ small businesses have been doing this for years.

Sherrie Tennessee, CHE, Doctoral Candidate

Director of Education, SpaSOS

Author, How to Open a Day Spa:31-Day Guide


TW:  @the_spasos

Instagram: @thespasos