Spa Business 3 2023

Page 104

RESEARCH

A deeper analysis of ISPA’s latest study shows that despite record KPIs, the US spa industry continues to face workforce shortages, as Eloise Corner from PricewaterhouseCoopers Research reports

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ast year, the US economy continued to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, however, simultaneously, the rate of inflation in consumer prices accelerated dramatically. From one crisis to the next, the spa industry has had a dynamic couple of years and has been able to showcase its resilience and adaptability. New research based on data from 2,829 spas in the US shows clear evidence of a swift bounceback in key metrics, but the persistent challenge of staffing continues.

to the rise in price per service which now stands at an estimated US$116 (€105, £91), compared to US$108 (€98, £84) last year (see Graph 1). The price for body treatments has gone up the most – from US$124 (€113, £97) in 2021 to US$152 (€138, £119) in 2022 – amounting to a 22 per cent hike.

THE STAFFING CHALLENGE For the spa industry, where personal contact is core to its purpose, a highly infectious virus sweeping its way across the world could easily rank among its worst nightmares. Since then, it’s rebounded strongly. Despite the difficult environment, openings and closures appear to

INCREASE IN SPENDING

104 spabusiness.com issue 3 2023

Spa openings have been steady. Aman New York is one of the newest arrivals

PHOTO: ROBERT RIEGER

Throughout 2022 the cost of living crisis continued to affect US consumers, leading to less disposable income. Many would have predicted that this would result in a decrease in demand for activities such as spa-going. Yet the 2023 US Spa Industry Study compiled by the country’s International Spa Association (ISPA) and undertaken by PwC Research, shows that industry revenues soared to a landmark US$20.1 billion (€18.3 billion, £15.7 billion), an 11 per cent increase from 2021. Spa visits recovered by 4 per cent to 181 million, while this is still almost 20 million short of 2019’s record high, it’s encouraging that visits are climbing. To meet this demand, 22 per cent of spas are increasing their weekly hours of operation. This figure increased to 32 per cent when looking at resort/hotel spas, which hoped to increase spa availability to provide a much-improved guest stay. Bringing these two metrics together sees a sharp jump in the ever-important revenue-per-visit metric which, at US$111.50 (€101, £87), now sits at an all-time high. Put simply, those visiting spas in 2022 were spending more. Fifty-four per cent of spas confirmed this when comparing spring (March-May) 2023 figures with the same period a year ago. This increase in spending is no doubt linked

PHOTO: ELOISE CORNER

GETTING PERSONNEL


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