We Are Sunshine

It’s a Whole Vibe: Create a tranquil tanning spa environment

Tuesday, January 17th, 2023

The once ubiquitous phrase “tanning salon” has given way to a range of more descriptive vocabulary. Now, there are “Tanning Spas,” “Skin Spas,” “Sun Studios,” “Tanning Bars,” “Tanning & Wellness” salons, and countless other variations. Today, tanning businesses come in all shapes and sizes and with a broad spectrum of business models, services, and brand representations.

There’s no one-size-fits-all recipe for success in the modern tanning industry. Every month in this very magazine, you’ll find tanning businesses that are doing well and doing it their own way. If anything, the overarching theme for modern tanning businesses is variety. Virtually every facet of operations varies from business to business, but the defining characteristic of any business is what they’re selling.

Tanning equipment itself and the ways UV and sunless are sold have certainly evolved, but more businesses than ever are also positioning themselves as more than tanning salons. Diversification isn’t a necessity for success in tanning today, but it is a proven formula. Adding spa, wellness, and beauty services, along with complementary products, enables tanning businesses to increase membership revenue, decrease seasonality, and appeal to new segments of clientele.

No matter what options you provide, it’s important to fully embrace your own business model and offer an image, environment, amenities, and customer service that’s cohesive with your services. In many cases, that means creating a more relaxing, spa-like experience. That doesn’t mean you’re trying to compete with high-end destination spas, but you can replicate some of the elements of different types of businesses that work for them while maintaining the individuality of your business. Even if you have no plans to diversify services, part of what tanning salons have always sold is relaxation and leaning into that vibe is a solid strategy.

If you can effectively implement a salon environment, amenities, service, and presentation that create the right vibe for customers, they’ll be drawn back by not just the direct results your services provide but also the entire experience you’ve created for them.

“It’s all part of the senses and relaxation and rebalancing their inner soul,” says Beyond Bronze Sun Studio & Spa owner Lisa Hansell, “and if you’re not giving that to them, they’re not going to spend the money.”

Click here to read the entire article in the latest issue of Smart Tan Magazine online.