Arrow-right Camera


Rubbing shoppers the right way

A pedicure to go with that party dress, anyone?

Coldwater Creek Inc. plans to give the idea a test run. The women’s apparel chain will open six day spas in targeted locations later this year. Officials at the Sandpoint-based retailer think that facials, manicures and massages could be the perfect complement to a day of shopping.

Focus groups have already given the pairing a thumbs-up, according to a company press release.

“Based on customer response, we will continue to evaluate, test and refine the spa concept,” Coldwater Creek Chairman Dennis Pence said in a written statement.

The 5,000-square-foot spas will be located near existing Coldwater Creek stores. They’ll sell sportswear in addition to spa services and personal care products. Company spokesman David Gunter was mum on further details Tuesday. But Coldwater Creek’s target demographic just happens to resemble the spa crowd.

The retailer’s typical shopper is a 40- to 45-year-old woman, with a household income of $75,000 or more. Day spas attract women in the same age range. Most have college degrees and household incomes of nearly $100,000, according to research from the International Spa Association in Lexington, Ky.

Coldwater Creek already markets its 173 retail stores as a soothing retreat for harried professional women. Water features are part of the décor. Company training emphasizes deferential customer service.

Spas are a growing industry in the U.S. In 2004, spas generated about $11 billion in revenues. Day spas accounted for about half of those sales.


Click here to comment on this story »