We have just experienced one of the best summers on record in Britain – a fantastic follow-up to the amazing summer of 2012 during which we hosted the Olympic Games and celebrated our Queen’s 60th year on the throne. During last summer, the whole nation appeared to come together and there was undoubtedly a feelgood factor coursing through UK villages, towns and cities.
Just how could we hope to top that in 2013? With difficulty for sure; but unbelievably, it would appear that we did it. In the world of sports, we cheered our first Men’s Singles Tennis Champion at Wimbledon in 77 years, thanks to Andy Murray; a Lions rugby win in Australia; a Brit won the U.S. Open Golf championship and we also had our second consecutive win in the Tour de France. To top all this off, we celebrated the birth of Prince George of Cambridge – the first child of Prince William the Duke of Cambridge and his wife, Catherine.
You would think that gave us Brits lots to talk about. It certainly did, but there was one exceptional point of discussion that topped even the arrival of the third person in line to the throne and it was something we certainly weren’t able to celebrate in 2012. In 2013, we experienced one of the hottest summers on record and you surely know how we Brits love to talk about the weather!
However, amongst all the hubbub of a glorious few weeks, there was in fact a rather strange anomaly regarding the sales of “fake-tan” products during the summer of 2013. Whilst temperatures soared, sales of self-tanning products and spray-tans plummeted. This was at complete odds with activities in recent years, when sales of such products have risen exponentially, thanks to a combination of a series of poor summers together with the economic recession restricting the number of overseas holidays people have been able to take in places where the sunshine is pretty much guaranteed. A survey of beauty product sales showed that in 2013, fake-tan sales fell by 20.8 percent from the previous year’s figures.
This enormous shift away from fake-tan sales shouts just one thing to me: people clearly prefer the real thing, a real UV tan. And if further proof were needed, during the hot summer days, parks and beaches were packed with people soaking up the sun. There’s no doubt that many of these people will have been over-exposed and experienced some form of erythema due to spending too much time in the sun, even though sales of SPF creams increased. So the message about responsible UV exposure still appears to have a long way to go!
Indoor tanning salon operators have an opportunity to capture the re-awakened interest in a UV tan – a real tan. Experiencing the many advantages of a real tan, year round, without having to leave your own neighbourhood, and at a fraction of the cost of an overseas holiday, is a powerful marketing tool.
Of course, there is still very much a place and a demand for fake-tans and spray-tans and this product sector will continue to have a significant role in the tanning mix, particularly for those people who cannot develop a tan by exposure to UV. Yet, for me it was somewhat refreshing to see published in the media that yes, as we know, people love to tan, and that given the choice of a real tan or a “fake” one – the reality is that real is the deal!
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.
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