Sue Harmsworth gives GWS masterclass webinar on the spa and wellness industry in the age of COVID-19
Leisure Opportunities
Job search
Job Search
see all jobs
Latest job opportunities
Everyone Active
Competitive
South Oxhey Leisure Centre, Watford
Y Club
£30,000
Manchester, UK
star job
Future Fit Training
Competitive
Various locations, including London & Manchester
Leisure Focus
Up to £45,000 depending on experience
Braywick Leisure Centre, Maidenhead, UK
The Lansdowne Club
£21,632
Mayfair, London, UK

Sue Harmsworth gives GWS masterclass webinar on the spa and wellness industry in the age of COVID-19

Job opportunities
Leisure Focus
Up to £45,000 depending on experience
location: Braywick Leisure Centre, Maidenhead, UK, United Kingdom
CVLIFE
£28,000 - £33,000 (depending on experience)
location: Coventry, UK
Y Club
£30,000
location: Manchester, UK
more jobs

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 retailHarmsworth 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.”

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
Spa and wellness icon, Sue Harmsworth has given a masterclass as part of the GWS webinar series.
SAB,CAS,WCM,SWC
2020/THUMB345395_737134_213647.jpg

More News

1 - 15 of 43,320
16 Jun 2021
Discount rail and bus travel and £10m in vouchers to key attractions – funded by the National Lottery – are among the measures announced in ... More
16 Jun 2021
The UK government has extended the ban on commercial evictions until 25 March 2022. Announcing the move today (15 June), chief secretary to the Treasury, ... More
15 Jun 2021
Operating a further four weeks at reduced capacity will place serious pressure on English fitness facilities – if the government doesn't urgently provide additional financial ... More
15 Jun 2021
People experiencing homelessness are being offered free access to leisure centres by Oxford City Council. A scheme launched this month (June 2021) will see the ... More
15 Jun 2021
IHRSA has appointed Elizabeth Clark as its new president and CEO. Clark joins the industry body from the National Confectioners Association (NCA) – the trade ... More
15 Jun 2021
Buro Happold, has acquired acoustics and audio-visual consultancy Vanguardia Limited and its subsidiary Crowd Dynamics International. The move will strengthen Buro Happold’s depth of expertise ... More
Spa Life UK
Spa Life UK
15 Jun 2021
Boutique studio operator TRIB3 has launched its own-brand range of luxury toiletries. The operator, which recently entered the Benelux market by signing a 20-site franchise ... More
15 Jun 2021
Rainer Schaller's RSG Group is bringing its John Reed brand of health clubs to the UK for the first time. Set to open in London's ... More
11 Jun 2021
The government needs to urgently set out its plans to support physical activity and fitness businesses, if it intends to delay Step 4 of its ... More
11 Jun 2021
Glofox will begin offering health clubs, gyms and fitness studios instant access to financing, following a deal struck with Stripe Capital. The club management software ... More
10 Jun 2021
Hong Kong-based Bricks Group has revealed plans to launch its health club chain, U Time, in Europe and the UK. U Time currently operates a ... More
10 Jun 2021
A £30m luxury leisure development scheme which has been more than a decade in the making has finally been given the green light by Newcastle ... More
Miha Bodytec GmbH
Miha Bodytec GmbH
09 Jun 2021
Apple has previewed its much-awaited watchOS 8, the operating system for its Apple Watch. The latest update to the system will add a number of ... More
09 Jun 2021
Chinese health club chain Supermonkey has finalised a series E funding round, valuing the company at nearly US$1bn. The latest round was led by a ... More
08 Jun 2021
Gymbox has signed a partnership agreement to provide members of flexible workspace provider WeWork with both in-person and on-demand fitness classes. WeWork members will gain ... More
1 - 15 of 43,320
CzechTourism
CzechTourism