20 Oct 2018 Spa Business Handbook
 

HOME
VIEW DIGITAL EDITION
CONTENTS
PROFILES
BUY HANDBOOK
JOBS
NEWS
BLOG
PRODUCTS
ADVERTISE
CONTACT US
Sign up for FREE ezine
Current issue
Spa Business Handbook
Current issue

View this issue online
Buy print edition
Download PDF

Previous issues
Spa Business Handbook
2017 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Spa Business Handbook
2016 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Spa Business Handbook
2015 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Spa Business Handbook
2014 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Spa Business Handbook
2013 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Spa Business Handbook
2012 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Spa Business Handbook
2011 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Spa Business Handbook
2010 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Spa Business Handbook
2009 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Spa Business Handbook - Future Look

Industry Insights

Future Look


Challenging the status quo, Hayley Ard, head of consumer lifestyle at innovation research company Stylus, outlines three key trends that are set to shake up the spa industry as we know it

The Spa of Unconscious Desires has guests ‘indulge in their alter-ego selves’
The Wrecking Club in New York invites guests to release pent-up anger by destroying homeware, furniture and electronics
The Wrecking Club in New York invites guests to release pent-up anger by destroying homeware, furniture and electronics
Toyota’s e-Palette could combine ride-sharing with micro-spas on wheels
The Ageless Cafe offers teas and snacks designed to combat skincare concerns
Spas designed specifically for men can help provide a safe space for communication

The image of the spa is shifting in line with consumer demand for alternative, transformative treatments. As spas evolve from restful retreats into targeted beauty solution zones, the days of relaxing by the pool with herbal tea may be over. New consumer influences – from a desire for uncomfortable wellbeing to male-only services – are challenging the status quo. Here are three trends – and opportunities – disrupting the future of spa offerings globally:

1. Uncomfortable wellbeing
While spas continue to hold appeal as a place to unwind and relax for many, some consumers are beginning to explore wellness concepts that blur the boundaries between comfort, fear and disgust – or allow anger release as a way to delve deeper into the psyche for holistic healthcare benefits.

This shift signals a move towards what we term the ‘shadow selves’ – an exploration of the unknown dark sides of our personalities. It’s a counter-trend to the rise of playful escapism we’ve observed over the past few years, where consumers seek new forms of fun and relaxation as an antidote to today’s pressurised world. The need to overcome these pressures has never been greater, but growing numbers are finding escapism alone a less satisfying route to relaxation. This is creating a market for uncomfortable wellbeing services.

Emerging examples include The Spa of Unconscious Desires – a collaboration between UK design studio Bompas & Parr and hotel Mondrian London that took place late 2017. The experience saw participants submerged in unconventional rituals that encouraged them to “indulge in their alter-ego shadow selves”. Guests could be wrapped in a full-body cocoon for complete sensory deprivation, wash with a “dirt soap”, or have a sound bath of grating stones for an intense and claustrophobic experience.

Capitalising on rage, the Wrecking Club in New York City invites guests to release pent-up anger by destroying homeware, furniture and electronics in a set timeframe.

Wellbeing continues to be one of the fastest-growing opportunities for brands and businesses cross-industry. While traditional concepts of relaxation still have a place, there’s room to offer more extreme treatments that force consumers to confront challenging aspects of themselves. Spas celebrating discomfort and wrecking rooms for releasing rage will win the custom of those keen to face their darker sides. The broader desire for extreme experiences will motivate consumers even longer, taking on new guises across retail, hospitality and more. The aspirational endurance events and elite extreme fitness classes that are starting to gain popularity now give a taste of what is to come.

2. Unconventional spaces and tie-ups
Consumers are living more flexible lifestyles, to the point where by 2030 we believe the nine-to-five era will be over. There will no longer be a typical consumer journey as such, meaning that consumers will seek products, services and adaptable environments accessible at any time. Businesses across all industries will have to find new ways to interact with and delight their audiences.

Not only will spas need to sample alternative treatments, but they will also need to meet demand for unconventional spa spaces and holistic health solutions.

Bridging the gap between beauty and nutrition, American skincare brand Ceramiracle has opened the world’s first beauty-inspired café in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Ageless Café advocates the gut/skin connection by using a range of ingredients chosen for their beauty-enhancing properties. Eugene He, founder of Ceramiracle, has shrewdly developed more than 30 custom-blended organic teas, snacks and pastries to combat specific skincare concerns. This concept would sit well within the spa environment, tapping into consumers’ holistic desires.

While some way out, there is no doubt that spas on wheels could become a thing. Smarter artificial intelligence (AI) and powerful 5G networks are placing momentum behind self-driving vehicles. This game-changing development will transform multiple industries, affecting businesses within wellness and hospitality.

Japanese automaker Toyota has already created e-Palette, a container on wheels with switchable interiors, providing an array of services alongside ride-sharing – from food delivery and roaming stores, to mobile hotel rooms or micro-spas. Flexibility will become key for spa. businesses moving forward.

3. Male-only spas
Seen as a predominantly female endeavour, wellbeing is becoming a key focus for men too. A spike in male mental health problems and suicide is sparking discussions about what it means to be a man in society today, as male beauty shifts to a more meaningful, supportive space. In response to this, we’re seeing the emergence of communities focussed around beauty and grooming that enable men to learn from, talk to and support one another’s wellbeing. Brands and services play a hugely important role here, providing safe spaces and permission for self-expression. 

One extension of this – and an area ripe for development – is the growth of men-only spas that encourage communication around mental and physical wellbeing alongside offering luxury treatments.

In the UK, 47 per cent of men visited a spa or salon in 2016 according to Mintel, with 76 per cent of those saying that it helped to promote their mental wellbeing. In the US, Shay’s Lounge and Living Fresh provides downtime for men in a luxury setting, with services from lifting facials to callous-buffing pedicures, and upscale US salon Hammer & Nails encourages clients to talk about skincare, especially for the hands and feet, which can hold important clues to an individual’s overall state of health.

From a consumer and brand perspective, engaging male consumers in dialogue about health is a beneficial strategy. But men need to know they won’t be shamed or judged for expressing themselves. A trend with longevity, spas and beauty brands have an opportunity to provide safe spaces for men.

About Stylus

Stylus is an innovation research and advisory company. It identifies and connects the most important global and cross-industry trends, using this insight to help its clients understand the attitudes and behaviours of their consumers, the products and services they are using, and how they engage with the world around them in order to grow their businesses.

Stylus provides this proprietary research and advice to more than 500 of the world’s leading consumer brands, businesses and agencies including Adidas, Target, Shiseido, EasyJet and Luxottica. Its team of 150 industry experts span five continents, analysing more than 20 consumer-facing industries.

www.stylus.com


About the author:

 

Hayley Ard
 

Hayley Ard leads Stylus’ Consumer Lifestyle directory, enabling global brands and agencies to stay relevant by alerting them to how people and technology are changing. Ard was previously acting managing editor at Global Blue, the international tax-free shopping business. She is a prolific public speaker, having presented at the Welltodo Summit, SXSW and Retail Design Expo.



Originally published in Spa Business Handbook 2018 issue 1

Published by The Leisure Media Company, Portmill House, Portmill Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1DJ. Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | Advertise | © Cybertrek Ltd