Yes … I have mentioned the “C” word – and I cannot believe I will have been the first person you heard it from this year. As sure as the sun sets and the moon rises, Christmas always manages to creep up on us. Fun fact: it is less than 100 days to go! With my business hat on, the ringing of Christmas bells chimes a stark reminder of all that needs to be in place for 2024 and beyond.
We have charged through this year at a speed so fast, I suspect even Ussain Bolt would have to do a double-take. With the lead time to Christmas expanding, it would appear quite the opposite is happening in tanning’s “off-season.” There can be no grumbling from me in this regard and I have no doubt salon operators will also welcome the narrowing of the off-season window as more people are taking “long haul” holidays outside of the traditional holiday season and want a tan before they go and to maintain it afterward.
What I would like for Christmas is for our global industry to fund a TikTok campaign that communicates our in-salon professionalism and our focus on responsible tanning.
A new salon owner recently explained to me how they had carefully planned financially for their first off-season. This was the result of having spoken with other established operators as well our JK team about budgeting and forecasting cash flow in what is a traditionally seasonal industry. However, an early start to the season at the beginning of the year boosted by a superb summer had seen all their agreeably conservative income projections significantly surpassed. And the anticipated slowdown in footfall just was not happening. I would, of course, like to suggest this was in no small part due to their wise investment in high-quality equipment and lotions!
And this salon is not alone. So, what do we think is fueling our industry’s climate change? Forecasts show the global tanning bed market is anticipated to rise considerably between now and 2030. Steady growth and continued industry professional development together with key tanning chains adopting bullish growth strategies are all playing their part in this upward trajectory.
So, despite all the efforts of the anti-tanning lobby, tanning beds are increasing in popularity. Dr. Dev Shah of the British Association of Dermatologists has been reported as saying, “One of the reasons sunbeds [tanning beds] are so popular is …. Studies repeatedly show that we associate them with attractiveness and health.” Obviously, we do not need studies to tell us that! And I suggest this is yet another example of why the anti-tanning bed lobby should be working with us in our continued education about responsible tanning. In my opinion, when it comes to educating consumers about responsible tanning, we have more in common than divides us. Maintaining the mantra of “there’s no such thing as a healthy tan” is irrefutably being ignored simply because there is no escaping the fact that people love to tan – it makes us feel good for so many reasons.
In the past six months, Google searches for “sunbeds” increased by 260 percent. As mentioned previously, probably not all related to tanning beds but seeking information about the well-reported holiday “sun lounger” incidences! However, the search for “how many sunbeds to get a tan” was also up by 180%. And then there is TikTok – literally millions of views for tanning bed videos across a host of information and top tanning tips. (Unfortunately, the content is not always appropriate or correct.)
So, what I would like for Christmas is for our industry, globally, to fund an ongoing TikTok campaign that communicates our established in-salon professionalism and our focus on responsible tanning to the TikTok consumer. After all, they are our customers today and tomorrow and for our industry’s long-term health and prosperity, surely we need to ensure that WE are the influencers on this platform.
In the tanning industry since 1982, Gary is Managing Director of the UK subsidiary of Ergoline, and runs Ergoline Plus, the exclusive distributor for a wide range of sunless products and spray systems. He is also Chairman of the Media Committee for the UK’s Sunbed Association & a European Sunlight Association member.
Copyright 2020 ist Magazine