During one of the worst recessions the country has experienced in 50 years (2006 through 2009), the health and wellness industry had a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent (2010 AMTA Research Report). Now, more than a decade later, the industry is on the rise, with IBIS World predicting that the number of locations will increase at an average annual rate of 2.6 percent to 6,477.
Hand and Stone Massage & Facial Spa, a 400-plus unit massage and facial spa franchise, is growing at a much faster pace than the industry, with 1300 percent growth since 2009, expanding from 28 locations to more than 407 in just ten years. The brand is showing no signs of slowing, though, with plans to find more new franchise owners to open a single location or develop multiple spas in an area.
“Service-based businesses are appealing because the customer base continues to widen. We used to focus on the 38-42 year-old demographic, but we’re seeing both younger and older demographics come in,” said Bob McQuillan, Vice President of Franchise Development for Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa. “The demand is there for an affordable franchise that offers great service and support for its owners, and Hand & Stone stands out in the category because we offer a more comprehensive health and wellness program. This isn’t about just pampering, it’s about the health benefits and starting a regimen at a young age that helps people feel and look good longer.”
Sumit Bansal first became a franchisee with Great Clips, and over the last 15 years, has added 11 more locations. In 2012, he realized the market was saturated and he wanted to add to his portfolio. He connected with franchise broker FranChoice, who presented Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa as an option.
“There were many compelling reasons [that I bought a Hand & Stone franchise] but the main reason was that the Hand & Stone corporate team is truly the most impressive team I have ever met,” said Bansal. “At Discovery Day, I saw firsthand the passion of each and every executive. Most of them own Hand & Stone franchises, as well, which is a great validation of the brand. Other existing franchisees were very passionate as well.”
Bansal notes that during his due diligence, Hand & Stone had more than 300 open locations and very few closures, adding that profitability margins were “impressive” and that the model is proven.
The service aspect of running a Hand & Stone business also appealed to Bansal.
“By operating a Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa, I know that I’m contributing to the wellness of the world,” said Bansal. “My favorite part of my job is when clients walk out of their massage or facial and I see their super relaxed face. We have received so much love from our clients for the work we’ve done for them. It’s a heartwarming feeling.”
Hand & Stone is looking for qualified franchisees in just about every market in North America, with a goal of signing between 60 and 70 new franchisees in 2019