The Professional Beauty Association recently released the first quarter 2009 results from the PBA Salon/Spa Industry Tracking Survey, a new report that will be published quarterly. Conducted via a panel of 600 salon/spa owners from around the country in consultation with PBA Economist Bruce Grindy and the PBA Salon/Spa Leadership Council. In addition to reporting on industry-wide trends, the survey also provides cross-tabulated results based on annual sales volume.

The second quarter survey will include the launch of the Salon/Spa Performance Index (SSPI), a quarterly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the US salon/spa industry. Much like the national housing market index and the national restaurant performance index, PBA anticipates a sustained level of interest in these economic indicators.

The results of the first quarter 2009 survey are challenging, yet encouraging. Nationally, salon/spa owners reported a decline in both service and retail sales between the first quarters of 2008 and 2009—44 percent of respondents reported a decline in total service sales, while 49 percent reported a decline in retail sales.

However, 54 percent of salon and spa owners are generally optimistic about service sales growth in the months ahead, while only 15 percent expect lower sales. In addition, 62 percent of salon/spa owners expect business conditions to improve in the next six months, while only 7 percent think conditions will be worst than they are now.

Other First Quarter 2009 Salon/Spa Facts:
  • Salon/spa owners reported an average 0.5 percent increase in back bar costs in the first quarter.
  • On average, salon/spa owners reported a 2 percent increase in their service prices.
  • 35 percent of salon/spa owners made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling, and 41 percent plan to make one in the next six months.
  • 24 percent of salon/spa owners reported “building and maintaining sales volume” as their number one challenge.
  • 16 percent of salon/spa owners plan to open at least one new establishment in the next six months.
  • Although salon/spa owners reported relatively steady staffing levels in the first quarter, the reported a cutback in overall employee hours.
The PBA Salon/Spa Industry Tracking Survey is $195 for a yearly subscription for non-members and is provided complimentary to PBA members. PBA also will release its much anticipated Business of Beauty: Maximize Your Profitability, a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive study on the future of beauty retailing during PBA Symposium, July 18-21, in Las Vegas. For more information, please visit

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.