Facial, massage, dating… In search of recession-proof industries

February 8, 2012

Facial, massage and dating… what do they have in common?

These are the industries which seem to be recession-proof and saw improved sales and revenues in recent months.

The Professional Beauty Association says its main tracking indexes for the salon and spa industry all posted a rise in the fourth quarter of 2011, driven by stronger sales, traffic levels and a more optimistic outlook for the economy.

The Salon & Spa Performance Index, which is the main index of the three, is a quarterly composite index that tracks the health and outlook of the U.S. salon/spa industry.  It rose  1% from the third quarter of 2011 to stand at 102.9 in the fourth quarter. A base level measurement of 100 is used, with values above considered positive.

The survey also showed 61% of salon/spa owners expect higher retail sales as compared to 7% that expect a decline.

“The salon and spa industry remains resilient. As with the broader economy, it is encouraging to see positive growth and expansion as indicated by the Salon & Spa Performance Index,” says Steve Sleeper, Executive Director of the Professional Beauty Association.

Gray & Farrar, a matchmaking agency for the wealthy (you can see their advert on How To Spend It or places like that), saw a 50 percent growth in international sales within the last 12 months.

It’s not for everyone — an annual membership is an investment of 15,000 pounds.

“The business has quadrupled within the last 2 years. As the banking industry has fallen into free-fall, the busier we have become as people re-evaluate their personal lives,” says Virginia Sweetingham, founder of Gray & Farrar.

“This trend is resonating across the globe; despite our office headquarters being in London, over 75% of our client portfolio is now international – a stark contrast to ten years ago, when the majority of our clients were UK based.”

The agency says they match two-thirds of their clients within the first 12 months.





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