We Are Sunshine

Here Comes 2022

Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Thank god 2021 is gone and hopefully Omicron just becomes a bad cold!! This seems to where it’s headed, according to both South America and the UK. Omicron comes fast and hard – as we’ve seen, but drops off as fast as it came. According to research, hospitalization will increase with lower ICU numbers. Recovery time is much faster even in the hospital. I know this firsthand, most of my family in Calgary got it from one person at a Boxing Day dinner. The good news is they all recovered in about 5 days and said it was just a bad cold. This was the first time since covid started that I had a family member contract covid. The problem with Omicron is you do not know if it’s a cold, flu or covid, and this is why we’re seeing so many cases. As owners, we need to understand the new covid world and make sure our staff and clients are protected and see we are doing everything possible to reduce the risk of transmission. Salons are doing their part and the JCTA has shown governments there is no need to close a tanning salon/personal service. Tanning salons have one of the best protocols for cleaning and again we are a non-contact service.

Now that I have that out of the way, Happy New Year and may you have a successful year. May the government allow people to travel, and we can get a Pretan Season in this year. From all that I have read, the government will not close the borders again and the recommendation to not travel will not change to closed borders – fingers crossed. From what I’ve seen at our salon, sales were doing really well with pretanners until the government talked about not traveling for non-essential travel. The biggest reason for the slow down was when they said there could be more restrictions and you could get stuck and may have to isolate when you come home. So far that hasn’t happened unless you tested positive. From experience, you just need a little more time between the flight to get back into Canada. Our salon is finally picking back up but nowhere near the client counts as they were in 2020. But they have been moving up with limited media play on vacation travel. Hopefully, everyone is seeing vacationers coming in.

We as an industry need to evolve and try and not rely so heavily on the pretan season. We need to see this as gravy and build a year-round business by adding services that complement our sunbed/spray tan services. Move to more monthly programs that combine sunbathing and other services. As I said in past articles, this is what saved our salon from the hardships of Covid. We almost tripled our EFT program dollars in the last few years. We don’t really have any more EFT clients than we had in the past, but they pay more per month and spend more on lotions. Our all-in price is $110 per month, and we lose very few clients in the summer and fall months since they use other services at the salon.

As for subsidies from the government, there has been several changes. Rent and wage subsidies changed for period 24 and 25 – period 24 started Dec 19th, 2021. This mean everyone that has sales declines over 25%, can claim without having to be down 50% for the first 13 periods. Also, Lockdown Support means you are restricted to 50% capacity, not a complete closure. This means further subsidies than before. JCTA Members received in their weekly update all the information and links to apply. Remember you can use the averaging of Jan/Feb sales from 2020 to increase the amount of the subsidies.  Feds also extend repayment of CEBA loan to Dec 31st, 2023. Some provinces have grant programs, and you’ll need check them out as well, JCTA Members are updated weekly.

The JCTA continues to market the industry this season, pushing as many travelers as possible to JCTA member salons. We have moved marketing to more Google search ads than Facebook. The reason: More impressions and more time spent on the website when a Canadian clicks on a Google ad. People that click on Google ads on average spent 10 times the amount of time on our website than someone coming from Facebook. Plus, the 18 to 35 market are the majority that click on the ads. As for the impression rate, it’s 4 time what we were getting from using Facebook/Google ads, spending the same amount of money. Facebook has its place, but if you want to drive people to your salon’s website or Facebook page, try some Google ads or spend some more money on Google and compare. Both Google and Facebook have some great analytics you can use to evaluate your spend.

Finally, if you haven’t gotten a quote for your salon insurance from the JCTA Exclusive insurance program, I suggest you do. From what we have heard, insurance could be moving up from 10 to 30% this year. This is across the board, not just for sunbeds. I suggest you compare pricing this year and what is included in your program. If you would like to do a 5 min app over the phone, give the JCTA a call at 1.800.915.0367 and we will set up a call for you.

Have a fabulous 2022 and may this be the last year of Covid as we know it!

Steve Gilroy,

Smart Tan Canada Vice President and JCTA Executive Director