When Image Skincare set out to drive business to national massage and facial spa Hand & Stone, the 20-year-old skin-care brand launched an extensive pilot program.
Image Skincare piloted three different facials with Hand & Stone, including an oxygenating facial, a Vitamin C peel and an organic facial. Image Skincare kicked off the trial with an initial 22 locations in July 2022. Then around the beginning of Dec. 2022, it began a second wave of its trial with an additional set of locations, for a total of 44. Neither the oxygenating facial nor the peel previously existed at Hand & Stone, while the existing organic facial appealed to Gen Zers’ interest in clean beauty, according to Jacqueline Palmieri, director of aesthetic operations at Hand & Stone. As of early May, Image Skincare expanded its services all 500 Hand & Stone locations.
Professional spas are not new for Image Skincare, which is distributed in spas across 60 countries. However, it’s also maintained a DTC e-commerce channel for the last seven years. Founded by an aesthetician and plastic surgeon, Image Skincare’s best-selling products include its Vital C hydrating anti-aging serum, Clear Cell salicylic gel cleanser and Ormedic balancing antioxidant serum. Professional sales account for 80% of the brand’s sales, with 20% coming from DTC e-commerce, said Christyne Biggs, director of marketing for Image Skincare. The average Image Skincare customer is 34 years old, and Hand & Stone’s average client is 33 years old. Meanwhile, 35% of all Hand & Stone services are facials, according to Jack Bachinsky, CMO of Hand & Stone. Hand & Stone already works with Dermalogica and Clarity skin-care brands on facial services.
Notably, Hand & Stone plans to expand facials to 50% of Hand & Stone’s revenue in the next five years. Bachinsky said that massage therapists are in an in-demand position, and there are not enough people to meet the demand. Comparatively, there are more aestheticians, which is one underlying reason for Hand & Stone’s focus on facials. Additionally, younger customers are more interested in facial services than ever before. Such an ambitious growth plan led to Hand & Stone and Image Skincare working together.
“Skin care is a more important part of a young customer’s health and wellness routine today. They spend a much higher percentage out of pocket on skin-care services,” said Bachinsky.
In the first six weeks, Hand & Stone saw an increase in average facial bookings and facial sales at these select locations, both week-over-week and year-over-year. Spa locations that carried Image products and treatments made 51% more in total sales, on average, than those that did not carry the products. Meanwhile, average sales in the test spas were on average 26% higher in 2022 than in 2021, while non-test spas were only about 16% higher year-over-year. Since the launch, the pilot spas have had 17-18% more facials booked than those not offering Image Skincare facials. Additionally, since the launch of the pilot, on average, Image Skincare pilot spas had 18-19% higher facial service sales than spas not in the test program. Image Skincare sells products across its Vital C, Ormedic, Clear Cell and other product franchises within spas.
“Hand & Stone has a philosophy around accessibility, and we love that. There are so many options out there that we need to be the experts in skin care. We want to open that [expertise] up to every type of consumer who may be looking for that professional advice and skin care,” said Biggs.
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