Global Investing

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

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.

Correlations between downturn and long salon queues

Who said cosmetics are recession-proof and would be the last to be hit in the economic downturn? (I, at least, thought so.)

But whoever said so seems to be wrong. The Professional Beauty Association‘s three main tracking indices for the salon and spa industry extended a decline in the third quarter of 2011 to hit their lowest level in two years. 

The Salon & Spa Performance Index (SSPI) is a quarterly composite index that tracks the health and outlook of the U.S. salon and spa industry. It fell 1% from the second quarter to 101.9, posting the second consecutive quarterly decline.

Germany’s answer to Armani and Versace bids farewell

When I walked into the dome of Berlin’s Bode Museum in July for Escada’s Pink Party at the Berlin fashion week, it seemed no one was quite sure whether we were celebrating the resurrection of Escada or whether this was a bombastic way of saying good-bye.

Today, we know it was the latter. Escada failed to get the support it needed from its bondholders to restructure its debt, which was a precondition for further capital injections from shareholders, like the Herz brothers — owners of coffee franchise Tchibo.  

Escada admitted defeat late on Tuesday and said it would file for insolvency this week. Is this the end of an era, the end of Germany’s sole glamorous answer to Armani, Chanel and Versace