We Are Sunshine

Will 2023 Become More Normal?

Monday, January 30th, 2023

2022 saw Covid (Omicron) as a strain that could be controlled with less hospitalization, ICU, and deaths. It became a bad flu/cold. Then came RSV that attacked children – hospitalization increased, and adults started having longer lasting flus and colds. So many people I know have had this cold/flu for more than a couple of weeks. The media called this the triple threat for hospitals. And now the media is reporting another variant for Omicron. This again will cause uncertainty in our market. Sales seemed to improve after the summer months and December numbers have rebounded. But not as much as expected.

We need to be vigilant as owners to continue to maintain cleaning protocols to show clients that we know this is one of the most important reasons why clients come to your salon. Tanning salons have one of the best protocols for cleaning and, again, we are a non-contact service.

Happy New Year and may you have a successful year. The travel season has started, and sales are rebounding. May the pretan season give you the gravy sales you need for a better profit margin. So far governments are allowing free travel, other than people coming from China. Travel has been a problem in the first part of the winter vacation season, with weather problems and airport problems as we have all seen in the news. Hopefully, this doesn’t make anyone rethink their travel plans. Our salon is finally picking back up but nowhere near the client counts as they were in 2020. Hopefully everyone is seeing vacationers coming in.

We as an industry need to evolve and try and not to 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 spa services. As I said in past articles, this is what saved our salon from the hardships of Covid. Monthly EFT funds are increasing due to some of the positive media on sunlight and all its benefits, from vitamin D to Red light/Infrared therapy which has no negatives coming from the media. 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 relief programs from the government, rebates on gas and electricity have been helping. There’s also increased childcare/rent funding for low-income families. Interest rates have been increasing at a fast pace and one more increase is expected in March, but according to the BDC, if the interest rate doesn’t go above 4.5%, we should not go into a recession. But this is going to reduce most household disposable income. According to the BDC, 50% of mortgages are on a variable rate. From what I can figure, we are in a place where people are still going on a winter vacation and only coming into a salon for a couple of session before they go, instead of coming in for a month of pretanning.

The JCTA continues to market the industry this season, pushing as many travelers as possible to JCTA member salons. Then, we’ll focus on marketing to year-round tanners/spa users. 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 time the amount time on our website than someone coming from Facebook. Plus, the 18 to 35 market are the majority click on the ads. As for the impression rate, it’s 4 times what we were getting from using Facebook/Google ads, spending the same amount of money. We’ve had to reduce spend this year on marketing, with the uncertainty of Industry Advocate member support. This does not include our Canadian suppliers support – thank you Uvalux, Tanning Depot and Sun Club for your continued support. Facebook has its place, but if you want to drive people to your salon’s website or Facebook page, try Google ads or spend some more money on Google and compare. Both Google and Facebook have great analytics which 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 again this year across the board, not just for sunbeds. It’s always good to do a comparison on your insurance, not only for price, but coverage. If you would like to do a 5 minute application over the phone, give the JCTA a call at 1.800.915.0367 or email at and we will set up a call for you. You don’t have to be a member to get a free quote.

Have a fabulous 2023 and may this be the last year of Covid as we know it!!

Steve Gilroy, JCTA Executive Director