How These Franchisees Opened Their Spa in Less Than Two Months

Two questions emerge when a prospective or existing franchise owner wants to open a Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa: How much it will cost and how long will it take until we open. These can be easily answered respectively on our Investment Page and FAQ page, but sometimes there are unique situations where there is less of a cost and a shorter development timeline.

In 2021, the Hand & Stone Executive Team began holding market meetings throughout the country to present company updates and discuss face-to-face with our franchise owners. Kris Smith, Senior Vice President of Real Estate, attended these meetings regularly to report on the real estate landscape in their specific region and would present an opportunity for new locations. Before flying to the Chicago market meeting, Kris and the real estate team discovered a closed competitor’s spa in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin with a great location where a Hand & Stone could fit perfectly. We call these conversion opportunities.

The real estate team presented the conversion opportunity and its real estate research to our franchisees in the Chicago DMA. They explained by pursuing a spa conversion instead of a traditional spa build would not only save money but time too. When converting an existing spa, monetary savings can range from $150,000 to 200,000 mostly due to leasehold improvements. Examples of these leasehold improvements are existing treatment rooms, millwork (counters), tile work, and the overall floor plan.

This business opportunity instantly grabbed the attention of single-unit, Wisconsin franchisees. After a few weeks of discussing the details of the closed spa with the real estate team and a new franchise agreement with the franchise development team, the franchisees officially signed to take on the space. From here, the Hand & Stone team negotiated with the location’s landlord and a deal was finalized in November 2021. Permits to begin construction on the space were obtained in December 2021 and after bringing the then closed competitor location up to the Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa brand and design standard, the spa was officially opened!

From the time our team took possession of the space, construction took around six weeks to complete. New build construction ranges from 12-15 weeks, but we were able to cut our timeline in half, which benefits both the franchisee and the franchisor.

The Hand & Stone Real Estate Team consistently searches for opportunities just like this one all over the country. They research each location thoroughly before recommending to existing or prospective franchisees. If you think you have recognized a potential Hand & Stone location or you are curious if there are any conversion opportunities in your area, please reach out to ksmith@handandstone.com.