Spa Retail – A Lifestyle Branding Opportunity


A few months ago I wrote a piece titled – Retail Spa of Tomorrow. When I was asked to contribute an article for Hotel Executive about my thoughts on spa retail, I used the initial piece as a starting point. What follows here, is the next step in the process to leverage spa retail to create a Lifestyle Brand.

Spa Retail – More than Money

Driving spa retail sales is not just simply about generating more revenue. Retail can play a big part in helping to build the brand of the spa and the hotel. For most people, the hotel and spa experience ends when they walk out the door. But the retail goes home with them. The more your brand is in my life, the more loyal I become. Having your guest buy quality spa retail to take home can make a big difference to their brand loyalty.

No doubt, it’s great to have customers who are loyal to your hotel brand. Having customers who are loyal to your Lifestyle Brand is even more powerful. And this is opportunity that is there to be seized by the hotel brands that can embrace Retail as part of their overall hotel offering. Even more so if they can integrate some Wellness elements too. Not just the simple luxury and pampering usually associated with hotel spas, but true Wellness.

Wellness, Wellness, Everywhere

There can be no denying the move towards Wellness in general. We are more aware now than ever before of the benefits of living well. So much so that this concept of Wellness is seeping into our workplace and our homes – the two places we spend almost all our time. Not so long ago, Wellness was something we simply visited occasionally. Today it is quickly becoming an integral part of our everyday lives. So, it stands to reason that a Wellness brand is ideally positioned to become a Lifestyle Brand.

And hotels can absolutely be Lifestyle Brands. Hotels are places where we really do live. Maybe only for a day or two at a time. But for the time that we are there, we are actively living our lives. This means hotels are a great place to be introduced to Lifestyle Brands. Brands that can become part of our everyday life.

Frits van Paasschen, former CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, in his book The Disruptor’s Feast, talks about following the trend lines. Great idea. Let’s look at the trend lines that I’m seeing right now…

Trend Line 1

Traditional bricks and mortar retail stores are struggling. Consumers seem to want different ways to consume. They want it when they want and where they want it. Online is not the only answer.

Trend Line 2

Wellness. We all want to live more Well lives.

Trend Line 3

The truly powerful and successful brands find a way to embed themselves into our daily lives. These are the Lifestyle Brands.

Trend Line 4

Hotel industry disruption. Airbnb, OTAs, Mega-Mergers, etc. Individual hotels and brands need to find a way to be meaningful to their guests.

As I see it, that all adds up to a compelling argument for hotel spas to get serious about their retail game. And the spa is just the beginning. Hotels in their entirety have a great opportunity to become, on some level, the retail storefronts of tomorrow. The hotels that can get this right will emerge as genuine Lifestyle Brands. Exciting Times.