A growing appetite for tanning salons has seen Britain’s biggest chain open its fifth outlet in Yorkshire.
Doncaster has become the latest location to receive a £350,000 hi-tech salon from the expanding UK-wide firm, Indigo Sun, taking its Yorkshire-based workforce to 48.
The new venue has opened at the White Rose Retail Centre, creating eight new jobs, and adds to a Yorkshire portfolio which already includes two salons in Leeds – Pudsey and Seacroft – and others in Huddersfield and York.
The move means Indigo Sun is now catering for 20,000 regular customers across Yorkshire, with each spending an average of £500 each year on treatments.
Frank Taylor, the founder and CEO of the family firm, hopes the latest opening will further accommodate the booming demand from tanning enthusiasts.
He said: “We are seeing the popularity of tanning salons grow across the UK, and Yorkshire is a particular hotspot for us.
“People here want to look and feel their best, particularly during the holiday season, which means there is a real enthusiasm for safe, healthy, tanning options.
“It’s important for us to meet this demand, so we are really pleased to have landed such an ideal location to give customers even greater choice.”
The new salon is close to the junction of White Rose Way and Carr House Road, which sees an estimated 25,000 vehicles pass through daily – and which perfectly fits with Indigo Sun’s expansion.
During lockdown the firm mapped out an ambitious growth strategy which will see it open 10 new outlets every year, focusing on sites where retail parks offer convenient stop-and-shop locations on busy, arterial routes.
The White Rose Retail centre includes three other outlets and has free parking for up to 20 vehicles, including two electric vehicle charging points.
Frank added: “Location is so important in determining the right sites for our salons. Convenience for our customers is absolutely paramount and this site is the perfect example, where people can easily stop off, park for free, get what they want and be back on the road within 20 minutes.”
The new Doncaster salon is 1460sq ft and has been designed with an upmarket beach club aesthetic. The salon has been fitted with eight hi-tech tanning beds, with a further three to be installed over the coming months.
Frank added: “Part of the reason that dedicated tanning salons are growing in popularity is because of the cost and complexity of the equipment.
“Modern sunbeds now have features such as Bluetooth so that customers can connect their phones and play their own choice of music. They also have sophisticated aircon systems and sensitivity settings for specific skin types.
“We have designed our salons to have more sunbeds in them to reduce waiting times and ensure our staff have an in-depth knowledge on the use of sunbeds.”
Across the UK the firm, which is headquartered in Stirling, is targeting its expansion on towns or populations centres of at least 100,000 people. In bigger cities, it will look to create clusters of salons, for more streamlined management.
In fact, the firm is already planning its sixth Yorkshire salon, with its Bradford store expected to be open by the end of the year. Frank added: “We have big plans to continue investing in Yorkshire as the demand for salons continues to grow in this part of the country.”
Currently stretching from Inverness to London, Indigo Sun has more than 100 tanning venues across the UK, employing 950 people. Most of the salons are 1000-2000 sq ft.
In February, the firm reported its best ever results, recording a turnover of more than £26m and almost £5.6m profit in its latest financial year. The end of lockdown saw customers return in such numbers that at peak periods in 2022 Indigo Sun was serving 140,000 people a week.
Founder Frank is a passionate advocate of safe tanning and is a supporter of the industry organisation The Sunbed Association, which seeks to battle misinformation about tanning salons and indoor tanning equipment.