The Beauty, Wellness, and Fitness industries, collectively a $124B industry in the US, have been hit especially hard by COVID-19. Billions of dollars of revenue have been lost over the last few weeks. Hundreds of thousands of staff have been laid off. Some businesses have had to shut down forever, with many more facing an existential crisis. Businesses will reopen again, but when they emerge things won’t be exactly the same as they were prior to shelter in place (SIP).
With their customers’ health and safety in mind, along with the need to comply with local, state, and federal requirements, business owners recognize they’ll need to adapt to the new normal in the midterm. Most are thinking about how they’ll operate in a healthier and safer fashion. Others are thinking about how they’ll adjust their offerings to retain and grow post reopen. And lastly, everyone is evaluating every budget line-item and thinking about how they can achieve a leaner business model.
Here are the key takeaways from what we’ve observed within and outside our customer base:
At the moment, every segment of society is tasked with taking steps to curb the spread of COVID-19 — this is forcing beauty, wellness, and fitness businesses to think about how they need to operate to play their part.
Businesses will need to step up their cleaning regimen if they hadn’t already prior to the SIP. Many True Lark customers are already doing this. Some are or plan to use PPE (masks, shields, etc.). Some will open up their doors to members only. Others are planning to limit how many people can be in the business at any given time (e.g. one service at a time, only use every other chair to observe 6ft distancing, smaller class sizes, more virtual, and more retail focus). Others have stopped offering certain services such those involving contact with the face.
Retain and recover revenue
Adjusting operations to limit the spread of COVID-19 could mean a net reduction in revenue from core business. To fill this gap, some are stepping up their retail game (Learn how Blo Blow Dry Bar generated $1,000 in retail sales) and others are innovating ways to generate (and retain through engagement) revenue from virtual offerings. Most fitness businesses on the True Lark platform are now offering virtual classes either on-demand or live streaming them.
Business owners are evaluating every line item and taking a hard look at what is needed, what they can live without, and what changes they need to make to operate leaner.
Staffing is the single largest cost in the industry. Immediately after the SIP, most businesses laid off 80%+ of their staff. Owners expect that it’ll take time to ramp revenue back to where it was and during this time recognize that they will not be able to reopen with as much staff.
Another broad category of spend that’s impacted is software. While some are reducing spend in certain categories (e.g. going for cheaper alternatives), many are turning to software to automate more aspects of their business to fill the gap left by lay-offs and the need to operate leaner as they come out of SIP.
Even though our team at True Lark interacts with our customers daily, we can’t imagine what business owners, staff, and customers are going through right now. That being said, from what we have seen and learned, we’re in awe of the fearlessness, creativity, and dynamism that exists within the businesses we serve and like our customers, we continue to be optimistic about the future of the beauty, wellness, and fitness industries.
Reach out to our team to learn about how True Lark can help ensure a cleaner and safer operation; retain and grow your revenue, and help manage cost while businesses are closed and as they reopen.