Pulse Points: ISPA 2018 U.S. Spa Industry Study

As mentioned several times in this column, the 2018 ISPA U.S. Spa Industry Study marked record growth in 2017 for each of the Big Five financial statistics. Looking ahead to 2019, the Industry Study will be celebrating its 20th year of gauging the financial health of the spa industry in the United States.

In terms of their plans to continue growth in years to come, respondents aimed to expand the range of choices available to their clients, including the addition or creation of new treatment offerings, the introduction of new product lines and the creation of a new spa menu.

Spas are also focused on strengthening their business through internally focused measures. A large majority of spas said they plan t o introduce new or revised standard operating procedures. Almost one in four (24 percent) said they will introduce new spa management software.

Staffing and employee development also loom large in spas’ plans for the future, with many respondents intending to introduce new employee training and create new jobs.

When asked what key issues respondents were looking to solve in the coming year, a few themes were consistently mentioned. A lack of qualified, experienced talent was the single most important issue. According to those respondents, the number of qualified people is not matching the growth in the industry. Issues around training and education were mentioned by one in eight respondents (12 percent). Self-care and staying healthy for therapists and service providers, especially as they get older, were also prominent issues facing the industry in 2018 and beyond.