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NEWS
Sue Harmsworth gives GWS masterclass webinar on the spa and wellness industry in the age of COVID-19
POSTED 29 Apr 2020 . BY Liz Terry
Sue Harmsworth gave a masterclass for the Global Wellness Summit webinar series Credit: ESPA
Spa and wellness icon, Sue Harmsworth has given a masterclass as part of the GWS webinar series.

Speaking to 630 people from 99 countries via Zoom today (29 April), Harmsworth said: “This is almost a war situation – we need to work harder than we’ve ever done and listen to the consumer as we adapt our businesses to the new reality.”

Harmsworth said the upcoming availability of easy, fast, cheap COVID-19 testing will be the key to success – if staff and clients can be checked each time they come in, then the spa can become a safe space.

Couple this with hospital-grade cleaning and hygiene and sterilisation protocols with things like UV light, as well as the use of PPE, and Harmsworth said operators will then have a viable proposition to market to consumers.

No discounting
With the additional expense involved with these COVID-related interventions, she said spas could justify holding their rates rather than discounting, so long as they explained this to customers: “We must sell our air quality, our hygiene standards and then we can hold prices and protect staff at the same time,” she explained.

Harmsworth said in spite of these increased hygiene interventions, older people with health issues might avoid spas, but those under 30 would be far less concerned and would be more confident to venture out. She suggested businesses take this into account in terms of targeting their product development and marketing at younger age groups in the immediate post-lockdown period.

She also advised slimming down spa menus to accommodate the more complex delivery, as services that require close contact will not be so popular with consumers for some time, including massages and facials.

She recommended spas increased the proportion of offerings on spa menus where customers remain clothed, such as Thai massage and assisted stretching. “Pick the things you can deliver without close touch,” she said.

Online retail
Harmsworth recommended using the shutdown to strengthen the online retail offer to create new revenue streams to strengthen the business, saying: “Consumers who can’t get to the spa are spending more on online retail and you can take advantage of this.”

She said she did not expect the long-haul travel market to recover anytime soon and said spa and wellness businesses need to cultivate customers from their local community as an alternative to inbound tourists or business travellers.

Medical spas and clinics will have a huge advantage in the eyes of the consumer, said Harmsworth, due to the trust they engender. Other more generalist spa and wellness businesses would be advised to add medical options, such as diagnostics, as well as offering clinical aesthetics.

Immune boosts
She said all services relating to immune strength and lung capacity and function would be popular, including things such as the use of hyperbaric chambers.

When we come out of the lockdown, Harmsworth said there will be a hunger for fundamental beauty and maintenance services, such as manicures and pedicures, and recommended businesses gear up to deliver these services.

She said customers are likely to have a range of mental health issues around grief and recommended operators should use the shutdown to upskill staff and prepare them for these challenges by teaching them skills around empathy, so they can better look after customers.

When asked about the likely timeline for disruption, Harmsworth said she expects COVID-19 to impact business for 18 months to two years and that we will see business casualties and that “a lot of overleveraged businesses will go bust.”

Ultimately she said her dream is that the world works towards a new focus on prevention and holistic approaches and that this reaches right across all demographics.

She closed by saying that we must guard against there being a blame game between nations with COVID-19 so we can work towards creating a better world for our children and grandchildren.

She also called on the industry to step up and be creative in tackling the challenges ahead: “Think completely out of the box” she said, “it isn’t going to be like it was before.”

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NEWS
Sue Harmsworth gives GWS masterclass webinar on the spa and wellness industry in the age of COVID-19
POSTED 29 Apr 2020 . BY Liz Terry
Sue Harmsworth gave a masterclass for the Global Wellness Summit webinar series Credit: ESPA
Spa and wellness icon, Sue Harmsworth has given a masterclass as part of the GWS webinar series.

Speaking to 630 people from 99 countries via Zoom today (29 April), Harmsworth said: “This is almost a war situation – we need to work harder than we’ve ever done and listen to the consumer as we adapt our businesses to the new reality.”

Harmsworth said the upcoming availability of easy, fast, cheap COVID-19 testing will be the key to success – if staff and clients can be checked each time they come in, then the spa can become a safe space.

Couple this with hospital-grade cleaning and hygiene and sterilisation protocols with things like UV light, as well as the use of PPE, and Harmsworth said operators will then have a viable proposition to market to consumers.

No discounting
With the additional expense involved with these COVID-related interventions, she said spas could justify holding their rates rather than discounting, so long as they explained this to customers: “We must sell our air quality, our hygiene standards and then we can hold prices and protect staff at the same time,” she explained.

Harmsworth said in spite of these increased hygiene interventions, older people with health issues might avoid spas, but those under 30 would be far less concerned and would be more confident to venture out. She suggested businesses take this into account in terms of targeting their product development and marketing at younger age groups in the immediate post-lockdown period.

She also advised slimming down spa menus to accommodate the more complex delivery, as services that require close contact will not be so popular with consumers for some time, including massages and facials.

She recommended spas increased the proportion of offerings on spa menus where customers remain clothed, such as Thai massage and assisted stretching. “Pick the things you can deliver without close touch,” she said.

Online retail
Harmsworth recommended using the shutdown to strengthen the online retail offer to create new revenue streams to strengthen the business, saying: “Consumers who can’t get to the spa are spending more on online retail and you can take advantage of this.”

She said she did not expect the long-haul travel market to recover anytime soon and said spa and wellness businesses need to cultivate customers from their local community as an alternative to inbound tourists or business travellers.

Medical spas and clinics will have a huge advantage in the eyes of the consumer, said Harmsworth, due to the trust they engender. Other more generalist spa and wellness businesses would be advised to add medical options, such as diagnostics, as well as offering clinical aesthetics.

Immune boosts
She said all services relating to immune strength and lung capacity and function would be popular, including things such as the use of hyperbaric chambers.

When we come out of the lockdown, Harmsworth said there will be a hunger for fundamental beauty and maintenance services, such as manicures and pedicures, and recommended businesses gear up to deliver these services.

She said customers are likely to have a range of mental health issues around grief and recommended operators should use the shutdown to upskill staff and prepare them for these challenges by teaching them skills around empathy, so they can better look after customers.

When asked about the likely timeline for disruption, Harmsworth said she expects COVID-19 to impact business for 18 months to two years and that we will see business casualties and that “a lot of overleveraged businesses will go bust.”

Ultimately she said her dream is that the world works towards a new focus on prevention and holistic approaches and that this reaches right across all demographics.

She closed by saying that we must guard against there being a blame game between nations with COVID-19 so we can work towards creating a better world for our children and grandchildren.

She also called on the industry to step up and be creative in tackling the challenges ahead: “Think completely out of the box” she said, “it isn’t going to be like it was before.”

RELATED STORIES
Exclusive: Sue Harmsworth launches Standards Authority for Touch in Cancer Care


Sue Harmsworth, industry influencer and founder of ESPA, has brought together a group of owners and founders of leading training providers in the UK and Ireland to create the Standards Authority for Touch in Cancer Care (SATCC).
Jacobs, Schweder and Harmsworth join AMAALA advisory board


Nicholas Naples, CEO of luxury development project AMAALA, in Saudi Arabia, has announced the appointment of Neil Jacobs, Ingo Schweder and Susan Harmsworth to the project’s advisory board.
Sue Harmsworth to leave ESPA


Sue Harmsworth has announced her departure from ESPA International, the company she founded 25 years ago, saying the move will enable her to concentrate on her passions for spa, integrative medicine, health and wellbeing, and to develop new partnerships and projects.
Breaking: The Hut Group acquires ESPA


Online health and beauty retailer The Hut Group is acquiring spa and skincare brand ESPA from affiliates of KSL Capital Partners in a reported £100m deal.
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Susie Ellis, Belgin Aksoy and Michael Roizen head up GWS' all-new podcast season
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New Deloitte report finds the health and fitness sector contributes up to US$91.22bn a year to global GDP
A new report by Deloitte, outlining the social and economic value of the global health and fitness industry, has been released by The Global Health & Fitness Alliance (GHFA), in collaboration with IHRSA.
Jacqueline Berry steps up to group director of spa and wellbeing at Miraval
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Here you see a tour of the Art of Cryo test and research center in Cologne. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
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DIARY

 

25-27 Jun 2022

IECSC Las Vegas

Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, United States
27-28 Jun 2022

Medical Wellness Congress

St. Martins Spa & Lodge, Frauenkirchen, Austria
+ More diary  
 


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Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2022

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