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Solid Ground

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Positive Signs for the Tanning Business

The U.S. Commerce Department reported Wednesday that retail sales increased by 0.3 percent in January — a result that isn’t earth-shattering, but which suggests that consumers are not going into a spending slide as some economists had predicted.

And that means good news to owners of indoor tanning businesses, many of whom are optimistic about tanning business results in 2008. In all-but-extreme downturns, cosmetic services such as tanning generally continue to perform well.

Last month 70 percent of tanning facility owners who participated in a poll expected their tanning businesses to improve in 2008. Only 13 percent felt business would decline this year.

2008-02-14-confident-strong-on-solid-ground-copy.jpg“While economists are cool on the Commerce Department’s report, which includes inflated gas prices, the relevant information for the tanning market is that retail sales are, at worst, flat right now,” Smart Tan Vice President Joseph Levy said. “Slow spending periods sometime generate alternative opportunities for tanning businesses. Some people who decide not to spend money on a spring vacation decide to visit tanning facilities instead. And still others will visit tanning facilities because it is one thing they can still reasonably do to make them feel better.”

Cosmetic industry products generally follow the same trend — with cosmetic spending not directly or proportionately affected by downturns in the economy.

“We think more tanning businesses today are good, solid business people who are on solid ground today, and will be in great shape when the overall economy picks up again,” Levy said.