Convergence of Beauty Institutes and Spas is Redefining the European Professional Skin Care Market

LITTLE FALLS, NJ, March 27, 2007 – Steady growth in the European professional skin care market has prompted an important shift in the sales channels for these highly profitable products, according to the latest market study from Kline & Company, a global management consulting and market research firm. The line between traditional beauty institutes and spas is starting to blur, leading to more opportunities for marketers to expand their customer base.

“Beauty institutes have traditionally been viewed as places to go for skin care treatment and advice from professional aestheticians. Typically, you had to visit an upscale spa if you wanted pamper yourself with a facial or a relaxing massage in a luxury environment. But this is starting to change in the European market, and a crossover is occurring between the two channels in the types of services being offered,” says Carrie Mellage, industry manager for the Consumer Products practice of Kline’s Research division.

Kline’s study, PROFESSIONAL SKIN CARE 2006, Volume II: Europe, indicates that European sales of professional skin care products––sold primarily through beauty institutes, spas, salons, pharmacies, or dermatologist and plastic surgery clinics––grew by more than 9% last year, reaching more than €1.6 billion ($2.045 billion) at the manufacturer level. Beauty institutes remain the largest sales channel for these products, but spas have posted the highest growth in sales, at nearly 14% from 2005 to 2006, driven largely by growth in the number of locations.

This boom in the spa market has prompted a number of beauty institutes to leverage the spa appeal by adding spa-oriented services like body treatments and massages to their roster of offerings.

“The shift toward more of a spa format isn’t so much about the services being offered but more about the atmosphere and attitude. And there’s a general consensus among professional skin care marketers that there needs to be a convergence of spas and beauty institutes if either channel is going to be successful in meeting consumer demands in the long term,” Mellage says.

This trend has given rise to the “urban spa,” which is closer to the American concept of day spas, as opposed to the original European destination spa, where one would make an extended visit to have treatments that are derived from mineral water, thermal baths, heated mud, or seawater.

“The growing popularity of urban spas also reflects social and economic trends,” says Susan Babinsky, senior vice president and head of Kline’s Consumer Products consulting practice. “There are promising opportunities in the European market right now, driven not only by this crossover between the channels, but also by increases in disposable income. The professional skin care market in countries like Russia and Poland is enjoying growth of around 16%. These two factors are opening a lot of doors for marketers that can tweak their brands’ positioning to appeal to a broader audience.”

Mellage adds, “The profile of the typical spa client is also changing, with younger consumers starting to use preventative products at an earlier age. Someone who might not have considered visiting a spa in the past is more likely to now because they seem to be popping up everywhere. And the mix of anti-aging, stress relief, and basic services is helping to draw in new clientele, including more men.”

With new clientele comes an opportunity for some brands to tap new market segments. Brands like Guinot and Mary Cohr, which have historically positioned themselves as beauty institute brands, now have a chance to reach the spa customer. And for spas that have developed their own brands, including Fermes de Marie Beauty and Cinq Mondes, the convergence of the two channels gives them an opportunity to expand their client base significantly.

PROFESSIONAL SKIN CARE 2006 is the fourth edition of Kline’s comprehensive series on professional brands sold through spas, salons, beauty institutes, physicians, and retail stores. The 2006 edition offers separate volumes on the U.S., European, and Chinese markets, as well as an executive overview of all three markets. Each volume examines sales volume by product category and distribution channel, market share by leading brands, regional trends, and growth forecasts based on Kline’s exclusive FutureView Scenario Forecasting Model.

For more information on this study series, go to or contact Carrie Mellage at +1-973-435-3412. In Europe, contact Erin Durham at +39-0331-976969.

To learn more about Kline’s customized consulting capabilities for the consumer products industry, contact Susan Babinsky at +1-973-435-3365.

About Kline & Company

Established in 1959, Kline & Company, Inc. is a global management consulting and market research firm serving the chemicals and materials, consumer products, energy, and life sciences industries. Kline provides clients with practical business solutions derived from a distinctive combination of industry expertise, global reach, strategic consulting, and market research capabilities. To learn more about Kline visit:

Posted in .