Just this week, the New York Times published an article titled “The Spa Half-Hour” about how many hotel spas have scaled back in size, begun offering shorter treatments, and started programs catered to local clients in order to compensate for the business travelers they lost this year. As locals are being enticed with shorter treatments at hotel spas, day spas could also benefit from offering some shorter treatments for today’s time-starved, budget-strapped consumer.
The article cites a June 2009 survey from the International Spa Association, which reported that 86% of its member spas were offering more 30-minute options than the traditional 60- or 90-minute services. Margaret Lora, spa director at Spa Merge, New York, told the Times that the shorter treatments were necessary for the spa’s survival. “The 30-minute treatment had almost disappeared from spa menus because it was really not very efficient for a spa to sell 30-minute treatments,” she said. “In today’s market, it’s a way to touch a customer when the spas haven’t been as busy.”
Many hotel spas have already caught on, and the NYT rounded up a few of them. The spa at Andaz Wall Street in New York offers 15-minute massages and facials. The New York Palace’s spa and fitness center offers 25-minute treatments, and the Seagate Spa in Delray Beach, Fla., offers mini treatments for under $65. Express spa treatments are also popular with people who live or work near the Peninsula Spa by ESPA in Manhattan, the Times reported.
“I’m a huge fan of the Peninsula Spa, but during my busy workweek I just couldn’t find the time to dedicate to an hour treatment,” said Jamie Brown, a 30-year-old marketing executive, in the NYT article.
In July, the Four Seasons Hotel New York introduced a “neighbor’s recognition” program offered to people who live in Midtown and the Upper East Side, the Times said. Under that program, a 50-minute massage midweek costs $210, which is regularly $225 on weekends. The spa also offers reflexology, custom massage and aromatherapy in 25-minute sessions.
“You don’t have to look any further than electronic media to understand that people spend less time on basic activities like communicating and getting the news,” says Natalie Matesic, the spa’s director, in the article. “The spa industry is no exception. Now more than ever, there is a need to offer quicker and shorter services that are still effective.”
Does your day spa offer shorter treatments, and do you think it’s an effective way to capture more clients?