Strip Mall Spa: How Massage Envy Created -- And Dominated -- A New Franchise Niche
This story appears in the June 29, issue of Forbes. For years Rick Davis was a tech executive who helped raise millions of dollars in venture capital. Then he decided to try a different kind of investment.
In he considered buying a fast-food franchise before choosing an alternative: the massage-and-facial franchise chain Massage Envy. Over the past 13 years Massage Envy's affordable-membership model has propelled the chain and its eye-catching purple-logoed storefront spas to more than 1, locations in 49 states. Its largest competitor, Hand and Stone, has locations altogether. In some ways Massage Envy's biggest challenges now involve overcoming its own success: For one, it has gotten a lot harder to find Erotic massage therapy in Norway massage therapists--its growth has coincided with a decline in massage-school enrollments.
More important, the chain is besieged by a slew of fresh competitors.
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Massag Envy Spas has grown into the biggest massage franchise, but several competitors have major The company's cofounders, massage therapist Shawn Haycock and entrepreneur John Leonesio, and its current president, Dave Crisalli, met back in the '90s through a national fitness chain. After the chain was sold inLeonesio and Haycock decided to try bringing the fitness industry's membership model to massage. Back then most massages took place at pricey spas, in a medical office or in a H2o massage therapy Horten spare bedroom.
The founders' vision was to offer affordable massage at convenient mini-spas that would stay open nights and weekends. Moldde
The name was inspired by a business Haycock admired called Hair NV. Finding a first location wasn't easy, given the reputation of massage parlors as sleazy places that traded in sexual favors.
In fact, many commercial leases prohibited the operation of massage businesses, so the duo sneaked their first unit into a strip mall on a sublease. Finding therapists to staff the store, however, was easy.
Interest from would-be franchise owners was immediate, Haycock says, and within a year they were signing up regional developers to recruit franchise owners to open and operate Honefoss the man singles in their territories. In Massage Envy was sold to a conglomerate based in India, which in turn sold to a New York City-based private equity firm, Sentinel Capital Partners, Massage envy Molde uptown late Leonesio, a serial entrepreneur, says he was happy to move on to his next ventures, including a growing chiropractic franchise, The Joint, where he was CEO.
Haycock is a business consultant who still owns two Massage Envy locations in Utah. Why did the chain connect?
Its model hits the sweet spot for clients, massage therapists and franchise owners. Clients get lower-cost massages at convenient locations with soothing environments. Jump to.
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Leonesio, a serial entrepreneur, says Massage Alesund o hare was happy to move on to his next ventures, including a growing chiropractic franchise, The Joint, where he was CEO.
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