Beauty Business Booms: Consumers Increasingly Demand to Feel Good, Not Just Look Good

Article excerpt

Beauty has become one of the fastest-growing industries in the British economy, with an 8% annual growth rate. Britain will boast twice as many hairdressers and salons offering beauty treatments in 2005 as in 1999, according to a study by the marketing firm Allegra Strategies.

The Project Beauty study concludes that beauty treatment, even services beyond traditional hair and nail care, is no longer considered a luxury expenditure. Many salons now include laser hair removal and other advanced treatments.

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"The dynamic market growth in the industry is being triggered by consumers' desire to relax and feel better--as well as changing attitudes toward treatments such as facials, botox injections, and leg waxing, which are now perceived as an essential part of modern lifestyles," according to the report.

About two-thirds of customers surveyed report visiting their salons more frequently than in the past, and 61% said they have beauty treatments at least once a month. And most (80%) are loyal to their chosen salons.

Attitudes and demographics are both driving the boom in beauty. Younger customers--including increasing numbers of men--find it important to look good. With the aging of the British population, however, a growing number of older customers simply want to feel better.

According to the report, beyond-beauty services offered in beauty salons include:

* Aromatherapy and skin treatments with essential oils.

* Massages, including Indian head massage and reflexology (stimulation of reflex points in hands and feet).

* Laser hair removal and permanent hair reduction. …