Forbes.com suggests a shift in consumer perception, with health and wellness now more important than material possessions

Looking great, feeling good and sleeping well are the new luxuries that consumers want to enjoy and flaunt according to a recent report by global retail analyst and top retail influencer Deborah Weinswig.

Writing on Forbes.com, Weinswig argues that the definition of health and wellness has evolved – something the spa industry should be poised to capitalise on. The phrase no longer refers simply to a lack of illness and disease, but to a more holistic state of being, where mental, physical and emotional health are all in sync.

Jack Ma, Chairman and Founder of Alibaba, says: ‘Today’s customers want to be healthy and happy, no matter who they are. Owning the most expensive goods has taken a back seat to looking and feeling good, and consumers are showing an increasing preference for participating in activities and indulging in experiences that promote their wellbeing.’

Millennials, she states, are driving its growth. Born between 1980 and 1999, they’ve grown up in a time of rapid change, so their priorities are different from previous generations. According to the Harris Group, 72% of millennials would rather purchase experiences than material goods. Wellness is a daily pursuit they’re willing to spend on.

For spas wishing to harness this trend, diversification is key. Weinswig highlights changes made at Saks Fifth Avenue New York City flagship store – a first-of-its-kind retail space dedicated to health, beauty, wellness – as an example. Called the Wellery, it combines traditional shops with unique in-store experiences; customers can purchase beauty products or luxury workout gear, take fitness classes, get spa treatments such as manicures, facials and makeovers. The store has even introduced a salt room where4 shoppers can schedule a 20-minute ‘Breathe’ treatment session.

‘Consumers are shifting away from purchasing luxury goods in favour of splurging on wellness as a luxury,’ she says. Now is the time to evolve.

According to Euromonitor International

@SpaNews

According to Euromonitor International, the global market for health and wellness offerings reached £535 billion in 2016 and it is expected to grow to £632 billion by 2021. Weinswig believes wellness is a trend that can only grow; people are increasingly participating in fitness classes and activities that improve wellbeing; frequenting spas and using spa products, eating organic and natural foods, taking health supplements and following special diets.

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