UK’s first independent Clarins spa opens in Lincoln

The UK’s first independent Clarins day spa has launched in Lincoln, offering treatments from the brand’s Tri-Active range.

The Clarins-only spa’s founder and CEO, Karen Cook, spoke exclusively to Spa Opportunities about the facility’s development. Located in the historical cathedral quarter of Lincoln, Le Sanctuaire has opened as a two-treatment room spa. The spa’s neighbouring property has also been acquired by Cook, who is transforming the extra space into a relaxation room and wet zone.

“The architect from RAW Architecture is coming soon,” said Cook. “I hope to have a space with spa chairs and a sauna. Whether we will have space for a hot tub yet, I don’t know.” The property, which is listed and protected by heritage bodies, was formerly a gift shop.

Cook approached Clarins with the idea for an independent spa using the brand as the main product. The spa is independent because Cook owns and runs it herself. To get approval from Clarins to stock its brand, however, she had to make sure her spa met certain strict criteria. For example, the spa has to feature at least two treatment rooms of a certain size, shower facilities must be on-site in a certain position within the facility, there must be a reception area and a minimum number of staff.

“It cost nearly £10,000 to get the brand in and I see why: Clarins isn’t going to supply just anywhere with its products, so I feel very privileged,” said Cook. The approval process took six months.

Cook has worked for Clarins on and off for 25 years. She was first introduced to the brand as head therapist at Harrods 25 years ago. More recently, Cook retired after two years as an account manager for Clarins at Debenhams in Lincoln, before starting out on her own venture.

It was at the Debenhams store in Lincoln, which featured a beauty room for 15-minute taster treatments, that Cook started to realise the high demand for longer Clarins-branded therapies.

“The Tri-Active treatment lasts for one hour and ten minutes,” said Cook. “In terms of our target market, we have approximately 3,000 Clarins members purely in the Lincoln area that we are in contact with.”

Cook estimates that of those 3,000 consumers, at least 150 of those will become regulars at her spa.

Treatments on offer at the independent spa will offer hot stone treatments, facials and massages using Clarins products.

“We are not a beauty salon,” said Cook. “We offer the OPI-branded hand and foot ritual therapies but we’re a small operation that is interested in wellness – not beauty. That’s the thing that makes us stand out: if we offered beauty treatments, we would be like every other spa.”

While she makes it clear that her spa operation will not be like a “health farm,” Cook’s small operation has high hopes for expansion to more sites in the future. – See more at: http://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/detail.cfm?pagetype=detail&subject=news&codeID=311721#sthash.yCqzy1HI.dpuf