Everyone loves the beach.
The reasons are simple: our lives are complex, fast-paced, and full of stress. We all want to escape to an ultra-relaxing place to center ourselves and slow our lives down. When we can escape and replenish our energy, we are more patient, produce better work, and live happier, healthier lives. When we escape, we are far away from the forces that create stress in our daily lives; we might as well be on another planet.
Stephen Smith had this in mind when he passed by a neon sign in front of a defunct uptown New Orleans tanning salon in 1994. The sign said “Electric Beach.” He had been operating healthclubs and gyms for years and understood the value of helping people live healthy lives but the gym business was limited; he wanted to help people feel better about themselves.
Smith decided to open his first salon and bought the uptown location. Since funds were tight, he could only change one of the words on the sign outside. Beach stayed, replaced with Planet to represent the desire to escape to the beach and have an “otherworldly” and relaxing experience.
The first tanning spa — and the spas that followed — were an overnight success. The Planet Beach franchise system grew to several hundred locations and many foreign countries. Today, there are over 252 franchise units in 38 states and 7 foreign countries. The company is still based in New Orleans and the original uptown location is still posting great numbers.
In 2005, Steven had a self-described “moment of inspiration:” why not expand Planet Beach into a full service day spa and make it affordable to the average citizen?
Smith’s idea tapped into a real need in the marketplace.
“I saw that we could provide the same results of a traditional spa in less time and a whole lot less money,” Smith says. “Our industry was changing, demand for tanning was diminishing and demand for day spa services was increasing. It became very clear to me that we needed to reposition our brand to become a more successful franchise. We broke into an untapped niche with the Planet Beach automated spa concept.”
The franchise is now positioned to turn the day spa industry on its ear by making spa services, traditionally considered luxury purchases, available at extremely affordable prices to massive amounts of customers.
“Until Planet Beach self-automated spas there were only day spas for the affluent,” said Smith. “Now we have a day spa for the masses. By offering a membership model that cost members a mere $79 to $99 a month, customers can receive the same amenities one gets at an elite spa for a fraction of the costs. We believe we have created the future of the day spa industry.”
The future is here! Planet Beach automated spas are thriving in the market and even posted positive revenue gains in the worst of the recent recession.
Read more to learn how the Planet Beach, the world’s leader in automated spas, fits into the larger Wellness Movement.