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Gyms have to adapt to changing trends, and a prevalent one is members requesting to have a way to relax and be a little pampered after working out. With this demand in mind, introducing a salon or spa as an addition to your health club’s services is a great way to further boost profits.
Club Solutions spoke with Kim Levins, the director of the Urban Allure Salon and Spa at Newtown Athletic Club (NAC) in Newtown, Pennsylvania, about the best practices for running a spa and salon in your health club.
CS: What are best practices for running a salon or spa within a gym?
KL: A salon within a gym is a bit of a different animal than a free-standing establishment. There is an opportunity to capitalize upon the members you already have coming through your doors every day that you don’t have otherwise. This is done by creating ways to engage with these members as much as possible. In addition, be sure to gear your services towards the members and their specific needs as gym users. Massages and blowouts are good menu items, as well as cryotherapy and quick services like polish changes that are geared toward time-sensitive schedules.
CS: What are the benefits to offering a salon or spa within a gym?
KL: The benefits of being located within a gym begin with having a captive audience at all times. There are 3,000 individuals that walk through the NAC doors each day, in many cases more than a storefront location and certainly these folks who are local to the area who are in your target market. Our salon is located at the main entrance, which makes it next to impossible for people to miss us. Another huge bonus of being part of the gym is the complimentary childcare that we offer both members and non-members while they are having their services. This takes place in our award-winning Kids Club and is a distinction that no one else has.
CS: Should gyms treat their salon and spas like a completely separate business?
KL: When deciding whether to treat the salon as a separate business, the answer is both yes and no. We want to create a high-quality brand for ourselves, since we are open to the general public, but we also want to be on the same caliber as the NAC and align ourselves with the culture of the club. It is imperative to drive home the messaging that we are open to the public, as the assumption is often made that we are for members only.
CS: Can you give any other success tips?
KL: A major element of success would be to utilize the new members as much as possible. In many cases they are new to the area and are looking for new salon services and think it is the norm to use the salon located within their health club. That is why we reach out at the point of joining to offer perks for our services emphasizing convenience, one-stop shopping and complimentary childcare.
CS: Any learning lessons you’ve gleaned?
KL: We have learned it is critical to keep up with industry trends and involve the entire team in this process. Your salon and spa staff are the experts in service delivery and have all the creative genes to back it up. By supporting their continual professional development, we gain their buy-in and their loyalty. The success of the business depends on this kind of team camaraderie.