ist magazine April 2023
SPRINGING Into Summer By Gary Lipman
S pring is undoubtedly my favou rite time of the year! Business wise, after the long dark days of winter, we start to see the light of the season ahead. The office is buzzing with activity and new business and, thank fully, it certainly looks as though we are accelerating towards another great year. In more ways than one, this is the power of light – pun intended! I read an interesting fact recently that the sun set after 6pm on March 13th for the first time since October 2022 here in the UK and will continue to do so until October 19th 2023. The positive impact of sunshine and longer days on everyone’s mood never ceases to amaze me. As soon as the sun starts shining, salon footfall steps up and the tills are ringing again after the quieter winter months. Of course, indoor tanning is a year round activity and it is quite noticeable how the off-season success of many salons and chains varies. Looking at this in a little more detail, we can see that the equipment and lotion ranges on offer combined with strategic marketing efforts – predominantly social media-focused – have a major impact. Perhaps it is no surprise that we are see ing reports of significant expansion within chains and also, very interestingly, people returning to the indoor tanning busi ness sector. Indoor tanning salons have reported their best-ever results for 2022 and are rolling out impressive expansion and refurbishment programmes to further consolidate their market positions. Operators can undoubtedly look and learn a thing or two from the bigger salon chains. Of course, the economies of scale will be enviable but in terms of salon location, products, brand identity, social
media presence, staff training, customer care and experience, these are all areas where single-site owners can strive to be on a level playing field with the big chains. It could also be argued that a strong single-site business has the potential to be more flexible to adapt to new trends and opportunities, thereby enabling differenti ation from the chains. Ultimately, there is plenty of room in the market for all – the key ingredient is a pro fessional approach to a vision of success.
professional owners and operators need to collectively use the same medium to educate consumers away from these unregulated products. These products certainly do not help your customers nor your business – indeed, quite the opposite. Such products have nothing to do with the professional tanning industry, yet they are erroneously linked to us by the media, solely in an attempt to besmirch us. Equipping staff with the knowledge and, therefore, confidence to
Ultimately, there is plenty of room in the market for all – the key ingredient is a professional approach to a vision of success.
Part of that professional approach is, of course, having an excellent under standing of what is going on in your business on a day-to-day basis, particu larly if you are not always on site. Equip ping your team with the knowledge and tools to ensure they are on board with your vision is essential. As an example, one of the challenges that we understand a number of owners are facing (in the UK) is how to deal with the use of tan ning nasal sprays and injections. Whilst illegal to sell, these products are, as you will know, widely available online and, currently, are not illegal to use. The influence of social media here is undeniable. As much as the pendu lum swings one way with videos and posts essentially glamourising the use of these products, we as an industry of
answer questions on and advise against use of these products is another piece of the vision jigsaw. But let us focus back on the positives that the next seven months will surely bring. A steady stream of people will come into our salons for their controlled dose of sunshine and leave feeling that little bit better about themselves – what’s not to love about our industry? n
About the Author: In the tanning industry since 1982, Gary Lipman is Man aging Director of the UK sub sidary of Ergoline, and runs Ergoline Plus, the exclusive
distributor for a wide range of sunless products & spray systems. He is also Chairman of the UK’s Sunbed Association & a European Sunlight Asso ciation member.
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