XpresSpa, a luxury airport spa company, said it opened its first off-airport prototype spa location at the Oculus in the Westfield World Trade Center. The new location offers its signature spa services, such as XpresSpa massages, Xpres Essie manicures, the XpresBlowout and exclusive facials from Dermalogica, a new partnership that was announced in Dec. 2017.
The 1,113-square-foot space is owned and operated by the World Trade Center complex, Manhattan’s largest mall at a sprawling 350,000 square feet. Its location is a strategic move: The shopping center is Manhattan’s third-largest transportation hub and accommodates an estimated 17 million visitors annually, according to the firm. XpresSpa has partnered with Westfield for multiple XpresSpa airport locations.
XpresSpa’s first off-airport location is a natural extension for the brand, as its prompt services designed for the “busy traveler” are ideal for perpetually stressed and time-crunched New York City residents and tourists in the area. Its premium spa services include massages, seaweed and rehydration facials, waxing, and more niche treatments such as reflexology or stress and tension release; Xpres nail services, massages and hair blow-outs are completed in 30 minutes or less to accommodate tight schedules.
XpresSpa locations also offer luxury travel products for purchase, such as travel pillows, blankets, massagers and grooming products. The firm services almost one million air travelers each year across 23 airports in the United States, Holland and the United Arab Emirates.
Andrew Perlman, the chief executive officer of XpresSpa Group, told WWD, “It’s a destination for people that are working, it’s a destination for people that are visiting New York, it’s a destination for people coming in and out of the city, and around all of those things Westfield has created this really unique location and experience for shopping and for dining. For us to integrate a services component, especially in a place where there are no services like ours, is the perfect environment for us to experiment with taking the brand beyond the airport.”
Perlman also noted that “there’s no place to get a massage or get your nails done for about four tenths of a mile, which is a rarity in New York, so we really feel [that] just from a scarcity perspective, it’s going to be very interesting to see how people interact with our location.”
And XpresSpa’s parent firm, a health and wellness services holding company formally named FORM Holdings, recently announced that it officially changed its company name to XpresSpa Group Inc., and updated its ticker symbol to “XSPA.” XpresSpa is the firm’s core asset.
“For us it’s really about connecting what the company does with what the corporate entity is called, and also about connecting what the management focus is with the brand of the corporate entity. And we felt like the time was right, because while we still do own some other legacy technology businesses and assets, we’re getting to the point where [we expect that] in the next few months we’ll close on one or a series of transactions where we’ll realize value for the assets,” and “so we felt that now is an appropriate time to change the name of the corporate parent and to change the name of the ticker.”
XpresSpa’s business model aligns well with the growth of the “experience economy,” which is largely fueled by Millennials: More than 3 in 4 millennials, or 78 percent, would rather spend money on experiences or events over buying “something desirable,” according to a study by Harris and Eventbrite. Perlman agreed that “It’s about the experience economy. We fit very squarely into what gets customers off their couch and off their phone and simply buying something off Amazon and into an airport, or in the case of the Oculus into a shopping center; it’s because consumers want an experience now. It’s not enough to simply hang a clothes rack up in front of people anymore.”
“We feel that we really have perfected the format of a great spa experience in a short time frame. That’s what consumers want today. We all know that our lives are increasingly on-the-go, and so for us to take the format that we’ve perfected inside the airport and to experiment with taking it beyond the airport is a logical extension for us.”
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