Times are hard, we keep hearing. But it doesn't seem to be that way in the U.S. spa business, according to The International SPA Association (ISPA). It just released five key statistics that show revenue, the number of spa visits, total employees, and total square footage all grew in 2011 over 2010.
Revenue was up a modest 4.5% from $12.8 billion to $13.4 billion. The number of spa visits was up 4.1% from 150 million to 156 million. The only thing that was down, ever so slightly, was the number of locations, from 19,900 to 19,850 in 2011.
Even better, for the people who work in spas, is the fact that the total number of full-time employees spiked a healthy 9.3%, from 149,200 in May of 2011 to 163,100 in May of 2012. Most of that came from part-time and independent contractor jobs, which were both down. That means more job security for spa workers. The total was up just 0.2%, to 339,400 in May 2012.
The square footage of all spas was up slightly, from 76 million to 77 square feet. Since there are fewer spas, that means they are getting bigger.
"Prices have stayed stable", said Colin McIlheney, Global Research Director at PwC. The evidence suggests a volume driven recovery." Spas have implemented a range of strategies to stimulate demand and increase visits, including more treatments, new retail products, additional spa programs and shorter treatment options.
So if you've been cutting back on massages and facials to save money, just remember: no one else is.