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Pepper Pike serial franchisees find new role in VIO Med Spa rollout with age-defying spas

Stanoszek said the new franchised med spas will fall within the 1,800- to 2,000-square-foot range. Like the Strongsville site, they are ideally located in shopping plazas, adjacent to upscale lifestyle centers and other beauty and wellness businesses that draw from well-to-do suburban communities.

“As many as 80% of our business is repeat customers,” he said.

Along with Botox and other fillers, the franchises offer Coolsculpting, a variety of popular facials like plasma-rich protein (PRP) and Hydra-Facials, microneedling and hair restoration. Customers can buy the services à la carte — HydraFacials, for example, run about $200 a pop — or, Hetal said, they can purchase $149-per-month memberships that give them access to one monthly facial and discounts on other services and skin-care products.

The Patels declined to provide anticipated revenue, but med spas average about $1.5 million in annual sales with something like a 29% margin, according to American Med Spa Association or AmSpa.

AmSpa founder and director Alex Thiersch said the association tracks “free-standing” med spas, or those businesses that offer “noninvasive medical aesthetics” outside of a clinical setting. The space currently is dominated by boutique “ma-and-pop” shops, he said. AmSpa’s 2019 “State of the Industry” report estimated that 83% of the country’s 5,431 med spas are single locations.

Thiersch noted that regulatory differences between states — such as rules that require physician ownership and/or oversight — make it more tedious to franchise these types of business. Still, he added, with the industry fast approaching a total value of $10 billion, all kinds of investors are eyeing the market.

“It’s doubled in the last five years, and we anticipate doubling again by 2022-23,” Thiersch said. “So, yes, we’ve seen some franchise models emerge, but also private equity and hedge funds and big institutional money that are looking to buy up med spas and find ways they can expand them and roll them up.”

Stanoszek said he believes VIO is early enough to the party that it has a pretty good chance of becoming one — if not the — de facto brand regionally and even nationally. As for the Patels, they are betting Americans’ growing obsession with looking good and feeling good will drive VIO’s growth the same way it has fueled Orangetheory’s success.

“Right now, a lot of people are looking to get back that self-confidence and that youthful factor through better skin care and self-care,” Hetal said.