business news in context, analysis with attitude

Good piece this morning in the Los Angeles Times, writing about how massage therapy and other wellness services have become the hot new trend in California, being offered at a variety of retail outlets, including car washes:

"Having a bad face day? You can have it exfoliated almost anywhere. Even at the store. While the concierge collects your groceries."

The Times continues: "Whole Foods Market will open its second in-store full service spa this summer in San Francisco. JCPenney has 20 spas around the country. Fred Segal in Santa Monica offers a range of services if you tire of trying on clothes you can't afford, including a 90-minute, $165 massage. At a Coldwater Creek spa, you can buy the $65 Ultimate Pedicure before strolling over to the retail side of the operation to unload more money."

And, the Times goes on:

"The lines are blurring everywhere, actually.

"The concept of one-stop shopping has been expanded to include body scrubs, foot reflexology and eyebrow waxing. You can have your roots bleached while trying on a pair of jeans or indulge in a Blackberry Hand Treatment while an herbalist whips you up a health tonic.

"What does it all mean? That many Americans have either too much money or not enough time, or both.

"The answer doesn't matter to businesses trying to set themselves apart by associating their brands with pleasant experiences, and to sell more stuff along the way."
KC's View:
This isn’t just about selling more stuff, but connecting with the broader notion of wellness in as many ways as possible.

Remember the prediction, oft repeated here, from the Institute for the Future – that within 10 years, virtually every consumer decision will be connected to health issues in some way. Personal health, family health, the health of the planet.

The trend seems very California, but we suspect that in other iterations these ideas could have some currency and relevance for other markets. And if you have doubts…

This seems like a good place to remind you yet again of "Fart's Law": The likelihood of an innovation succeeding rises with the number of old farts who say it won't work.