Fighting Recession Pt. 1

DSA Story BookOnce upon a time…

… in 1991, when I first started to look at day spas as a viable industry – the country was showing tell-tale signs of recession. By 1993 many professionals couldn’t afford the luxury of traveling to destination / resort spas. The reasons were elemental – these spas were expensive, and there was the lurking fear of their job disappearing while they were away for a few days. Hence, it was out of necessity that the day spa industry was born!

The Day Spa Association published its first day spa directory in 1994. It contained some 70 day spas around the country. Consumers were beginning to discover that going to a day spa for a few hours enabled them to escape the tensions inherent in the everyday rat race. They also found that a visit to the day spa once a month for a few hours provided lasting benefits that an annual resort spa sojourn could not sustain. Thus, the recession had a positive effect on day spas! Consequently, in the mid-1990’s the industry started to grow by leaps and bounds!

The same thing happened after 9-11…

Those of you who were around then will remember that immediately after this tragedy clients stayed home. Soon after, however, they came in droves to the day spas, the only place where they felt safe, nurtured and pampered without leaving home! Did you notice this at your day spa?

Today the scene is a bit different…

There is a lot of competition out there and a day spa owner needs to look at all business aspects in order to remain competitive with the day spa around the corner or down the street.

Let’s talk business then, shall we?

Read the Recession Fighter’s post on “Slashing Operating Costs”.

Share your own 1990s recession story or 9-11 day spa experience with us.


2 Responses

  1. Hi Dayspa123,

    Even though past recessions have not affected the spa industry as much, this current one is a bit of an anomaly because of the strength of the downturn.

    Our company, ComfortSoul Spa Furniture has actually seen a spike in sales because of the recession. We see that our customers want to cut costs, while not sacrificing Service as you point out. Having a comfortable spa table is essential for providing great service.

    Spa owners are now doing a lot more research to get the best VALUE. When times were good, it wasn’t necessary to find the best value. Now it is necessary.

    Companies like ours do not have a large marketing or sales budget, but we spend a lot of resources on maintaining product quality. Instead of marking up our products because of a massive marketing budget, we pass the savings to our customers. It taks a bit of research to find us, but when our customers find us they are very happy because they found such a great deal! In fact, we are the #1 result for “facial chairs” on Google because when customers find our company, they really do stay on our website and find what they need.

    The economy is definitely a downer right now, but if your Spa cuts costs where it counts without sacrificing quality, you will be a lot better off when the economy bounces back!

    • Thank you Mike for sharing your observations with us.
      Past recessions actually also boosted the day spa industry, because the recession was based more on uncertainties and fear, whereas today it is strictly based on the available disposable dollars.
      We invite you to consider becoming a member of our trade organization(s), in order for you to let the industry know about your producgts and programs to assist spas in these challenged times. Being a member of the DSA or iMSA you would be entitled to a discount on booth space at the Day Spa Expo in Las Vegas next month. For more information go to

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