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Wellness trends and the role of the spa industry

business insights & tips spa & salon industry news Nov 08, 2021

In October, Thierry Malleret, the managing partner of the Monthly Barometer (a newsletter which predicts global trends in business) and partner economist for the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), discussed his perspective on wellness trends post-Covid-19. He gave some insights that might be helpful to spa businesses moving forward.

Malleret, whose webinar, Wellbeing as a Net Winner in the Post-Pandemic Era, was insightful, commented:

“As the work of the GWI demonstrates, evidence-based wellness is an absolute-must. The wind is in the sails of the wellness sector, but to expand soundly and sustainably it must ensure that its offering is science-based.”


Key takeaways from Thierry’s research were circulated by the GWI and we have added our own thoughts:

High rates of attrition

The high rates of attrition in the spa industry are something most of us already know about in real terms. Recruitment has been an enormous challenge to spas since reopening and a skills shortage continues to have an impact on the industry. It’s one of the reasons we offered free oncology massage training to existing partners who had lost staff members, throughout October 2021.

Some of the feedback from the ‘Wellness Barometer’ was that with more people feeling unhappy in their employment in the leisure and spa industries, so called ‘cosmetic’ additions to recruitment packages such as yoga classes, aren’t proving enough to entice people back.

We have been fortunate to speak to several experts in this area who have discussed ways in which businesses owners can address recruitment challenges. Nikki Spicer, Spa Director at Vita Skin Spa, gave her thoughts, while Steve Charlton is the Founder of the The REAL. Leadership Consultancy, which specialises in leadership coaching, gave his perspective on everything from ‘Covid shock’ to flexibility.

The Eurozone leads on wellbeing and planetary wellbeing

Wellness has been becoming increasingly all-encompassing over recent years, and there’s a sense that governments are catching up with the trend.

Consumers are far more tuned into the idea that environmental wellbeing and individual wellness are connected. As a result, more and more businesses have been prioritising sustainable approaches and decision making around products, services, and processes.

The discussions noted that government reshuffles in various parts of the world are now showing strength for environmental and inequality considerations with Europe (especially Northern Europe) leading on wellbeing and planetary wellbeing.

Just–in–time is giving way to just–in–case

Amongst consumers there’s far greater awareness around wellbeing than ever before. Customer approach is moving towards prevention or ‘just–in–case’ taking place of ‘just–in–time’ attitudes.

Again, this is something most spa businesses have always worked around in their services and product design but being cognisant of the change in attitude can be helpful.

Steering clear of ‘anti science’ attitudes

Perhaps one of the most interesting things to come out of the conversations was Thierry’s thoughts surrounding the prevalence of anti-vaxx attitudes. His perception was that these emotive worries, that lots of people have, are grounded in anti-science. He cautioned that as an industry we need to be careful that what we do doesn’t become synonymous with anti-science rhetoric.

While we have no desire to have a discussion around vaccination, the point does touch on an area that we do feel passionately about - complementary vs alternative therapy terminology. It’s something we will discuss in more detail later this month and have touched upon in the past in our article on Essential oils for those affected by cancer.

Suffice to say that we are adamant about evidence-based literature when it comes to essential oils, touch treatments and products. We feel it’s important for what we do in the spa industry to be respected for what it is and what it does, without trying to make it something that it’s not.

We would love to hear more of your thoughts about trends in the spa industry and the questions you would like answered when it comes to supporting your business. Contact our team, send us a message on LinkedIn or Facebook and tell us your thoughts!


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