Abingdon, VA and Torrance, CA / April 1, 2016  – Good news for the spa, hotel, and resort industry: Spa distributor Universal Companies has acquired SpaEquip, a preferred spa development provider known throughout the spa and hospitality industries for its impressive depth of experience and expertise with spa equipment.SpaEquip, founded by Philippe Therene, will add a staff of seasoned experts to the Abingdon, Virginia spa distributor.

“Bringing inventive, affordable spa development and equipment solutions to match customer needs and applying the perfect amount of customization is what SpaEquip does best,” says Universal CEO Brenda Elliott. “And in this new era of spas playing an important role in the health and wellness movement, having partners like SpaEquip will be of huge benefit as we continue to develop solutions that help our customers anticipate their patrons’ needs and provide wellness focused experiences. Combining the talents of both companies will produce solutions that have a positive impact for the spa industry.”

“SpaEquip is a natural fit for Universal Companies, and we are thrilled to join their team of industry-leading experts,” says Polly Johnson, SpaEquip VP Corporate Accounts. “This acquisition will bring together two companies with a long history of providing sound solutions and extensive support to spas. SpaEquip’s extensive experience in equipment and spa development combined with Universal’s widespread product and equipment knowledge will provide customers with a comprehensive resource for all their spa and wellness needs.”

What does this mean for customers of Universal Companies and SpaEquip?

For Universal Companies customers, this means the added expertise of a proven and respected spa development and equipment team as well as an expanded offering of equipment and products.

For SpaEquip customers, this means they will have access to the full line of Universal products, supplies, apparel, and specialist/expert services, including retail products and programs through À la Mode, a division of Universal Companies that provides service in all areas of retail management from product selection to retail coaching and consulting; training and education at Universal Companies’ Wellness and Beauty Learning Center located in Torrance, California; a call center staffed with industry specialists and licensed professionals; plus skin care, product, and supplies specialists.

SpaEquip customers will also experience improved, more efficient fulfillment with the added advantage of the Universal Companies distribution capabilities and resources. 

What does this mean for Universal Companies and SpaEquip vendors?

For industry vendors, this means a streamlined purchasing and fulfillment process plus comprehensive sales and marketing support with an omni-channel reach to over 40,000 customers.

Vendors will also benefit from the SpaEquip team of sales and development specialists and Universal Companies’ sales and marketing programs, such as the annual Spa Resource Book, an ecommerce website and digital marketing, participation in key industry events and tradeshows, an extended direct sales force (domestic and international), and training and education support through the Wellness and Beauty Learning Center, eLearning, and regional trainers.

SpaEquip will continue to be based in Calistoga, California, operating as a division of Universal Companies. It will head a consolidated equipment division and customers will continue to work with their preferred contacts knowing that they now have expanded resources and support as well.

Universal Companies: Your One Source Spa Solution®

Universal Companies has pioneered many exciting business solutions to the spa industry during the past 30+ years. The company is recognized in the spa and wellness industry for launching business solutions designed to help spa owners realize their unique visions for their spa. Some of the company’s most popular business solutions include:    

  • The addition of À la Mode. Introduced in September 2015, À la Mode provides custom spa retail guidance as well as approximately 75 emerging, trendy, and eco-chic brands that inspire spontaneous spa patron purchases, client retention, and an ongoing consumer connection.
  • Southern California Wellness and Beauty Learning Center. Opened in February 2016, The Wellness and Beauty Learning Center offers a wide range of unique classes and hands-on training. It also hosts industry events and features a beautiful equipment and retail showroom.
  • Learn & Grow eLearning & training opportunities. Universal Companies has launched several levels of training available, from complimentary eLearning certifications, digital training materials, and standard treatment protocols to customized on-site visits and training based on brand purchases.
  • The Spa Resource Book. Universal Companies’ annual catalog has evolved from a sparse, 28-page listing of spa products into a 450+ page resource and inspiration book for the spa industry—filled not only with products, but also with treatment ideas and protocols, retail inspiration, and Spa Insider® tips.


About Universal Companies

For more than 30 years, 30,000+ spa professionals in 47 countries have trusted Universal Companies to be their single-source supplier, providing thousands of products to help them manage and grow their businesses. Located in beautiful and historic Abingdon, Virginia, we distribute furniture, fixtures, equipment, implements, supplies, and spa apparel to customers from the largest spa to the independent practitioner. Universal Companies also offers professional skin and body products, retail items, and merchandising tools, and provides spas with innovative consulting services, educational materials, and training options. For more information about our company, please call 800-558-5571 or visit www.universalcompanies.com.

About SpaEquip

Founded in 1987 by Philippe Therene, SpaEquip has become a trusted, valued source of equipment expertise for spa owners, developers, and consultants. In addition to supplying equipment to many leading day spas and destination spas in the US and other countries worldwide, it has earned preferred vendor status with all the largest hotel and resort chains, including Starwood, Fairmont, Hilton, Hyatt, and Four Seasons. Headquartered in California, SpaEquip also has offices in Texas and Arizona as well as Shanghai, Hong Kong, and the UK.