Growing the Massage Market

The Massage Company has worked with CORE by Premier to launch its innovative massage membership model to the UK market

Launched this April, The Massage Company’s driving philosophy is set to change the way the British public views massage treatments. The concept, successful in the US and new to the UK market, brings together the idea of massage treatments fitting into people’s lives with ease of access for town centre workers and the surrounding population.

“If you look at the UK, only 8 per cent of people have regular massage treatments. We’re looking to grow that number. In Europe, it’s around 15 per cent and in the US it’s 20 per cent,” says Charlie Thompson, founder and operations director of The Massage Company.

The concept is to deliver high quality massage treatments through a very simple menu and membership system, similar to a gym. Members pay a fee of £44.95 a month to receive a monthly 50-minute massage, or £54.95 for a non-contract membership.

Allocating Credits

“We really needed a software provider that we were already familiar with, and that could meet our business needs without additional development,” says Thompson. “We also needed a turnkey solution: database, online sign-ups for members, online functionality for booking – and we definitely wanted the marketing element and business insights, because we’re looking to create a national brand.”

He continues: “It was also crucial to find a software provider that could deliver our membership concept, whereby each direct debit sees a credit allocated to that customer for a treatment. As members don’t have to use the credit that month, we also needed a system that would allow people to build up their credits. At the same time, it needed to offer flexibility to take additional payments from those wanting to include the add-ons and upgrades we offer.

“CORE by Premier works really effectively here, and its multy-property capabilities fit in with our plans to open the concept up to franchise opportunities.”

Thompson continues: “We use CORE’s online sign-up and online booking systems. We’ve found that over 50 per cent of our massage bookings have been taken online since we launched. We can take bookings 24/7 – we’ve had night shift workers from the hospital booking in at 2.00am or 3.00am for a massage appointment.”

The Massage Company was initially conceived to target women aged between 30 and 60 years, but in fact 40 per cent of its members are male. Thompson believes that men tend to be more comfortable booking their massage treatments in the digital space rather than face-to-face.

Reporting Capabilities

When discussing CORE by Premier’s reporting capabilities, Thompson highlights several that offer crucial business insight. “We use the allocation analysis from a staffing perspective, as well as financial reports, client listing and, increasingly, staff reporting as we want to be able to give the team a breakdown of their performance.”

Thompson sees The Massage Company as being a category disruptor: “If we can get this industry and customers in the UK more open to the idea of regular treatments, then the whole health, fitness and spa industry will improve. That’s what we’re looking to do.”

Visit www.premier-core.com for more information. First published in June 2016, Health Club Management.