European Wax Center Franchise vs. MassageLuXe: Which is Best?
It’s no surprise entrepreneurs are interested in the growing spa franchise industry, but picking the right business is a task that requires considerable research and close comparisons of ownership opportunities.
Potential franchise owners know to choose a business in a growth industry and evaluate them for success at every level, from global measures all the way down to a brand’s hyper-local potential.
Two brands commonly pop up in internet searches as prospective owners scope out the best options: the MassageLuXe franchise and the European Wax Center franchise.
Both franchises are well-known players in the spa franchise space, but a careful examination of the brands and their industries will help entrepreneurs select the best of the two investments.
Overall Industry Health
Broader assessment of the spa and wellness industry reveals promising numbers for hair removal services and massage services.
The global spa market size will grow by more than $34 billion from 2019 to 2023, according to the research firm Technavio.
In the United States, employment of massage therapists is expected to grow 21 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is a clear indication for the growing demand for massage therapy.
Employment of skincare specialists like hair removal professionals is projected to grow 17 percent in the same period, which is still faster than average but not quite as high as massage services.
Roughly 47.5 million people had 214 million massages in 2018, a 20 percent jump from the previous year. According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), the massage therapy industry is an $18 billion industry that continues to grow.
From 2015 to 2020, the U.S. personal waxing and nail salon industry experienced a rise in revenue at an annualized rate of 7 percent, growing to a $17.6 billion industry.
A review of their respective industries shows massage and personal waxing services are growing in popularity, but the massage industry has a slightly better forecast than personal waxing.
Now it’s time to choose the best brand.
According to Franchise Gator, European Wax Center franchisees can expect an initial total investment of $450,000 to $500,000. The initial franchise fee is $45,000. The ongoing royalty fee is 6 percent of gross revenue, according to Franchise Grade.
MassageLuXe may be slightly more affordable, with a lower initial franchise fee of $42,500. The total costs of opening vary depending on certain factors, but owners can expect a comparable investment to European Wax Center, ranging from $434,000 to $559,000. The ongoing royalty fee is also 6 percent of gross revenue, payable weekly.
Global sales in 2020 were more than $47 million across 68 MassageLuXe locations, averaging $1.2 million per unit. Comparable numbers for European Wax Center could not be located on the company’s website.
Potential scalability is where MassageLuXe shines brighter than its competitors. Recent recognition in prestigious lists is evidence of the brand’s potential.
Both MassageLuXe and European Wax Center appeared on Entrepreneur’s esteemed Franchise 500 list in 2021.
MassageLuxe also appeared on Franchise Gator’s list of Fastest Growing Franchises in 2021 based on data from its Franchise Disclosure Document. Additionally, MassageLuXe was chosen as a Top 100 Franchise overall by Franchise Gator. European Wax Center is not represented on either list.
To accommodate demand for MassageLuXe’s fast-growing brand, the franchise offers Multi-Unit Development Agreements (MUDs), in addition to single-unit franchises. Qualified, experienced individuals can open three units. Multi-unit owners enjoy a reduction on the initial franchise fee on their second and third locations.
MassageLuXe is on track to open 250 units by 2024, nearly quadrupling its size in less than five years.
With more than 800 locations already open, European Wax Center is less likely to see an explosion in growth like MassageLuXe is projected to experience.
Franchise Support and Training
MassageLuXe provides franchisees with a turnkey experience, including guidance in all stages of startup. The company assists with site selection, facility design, third-party financing resource relationships (to cover startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts, receivables, and payroll).
The company provides unparalleled support and hands-on training at MassageLuXe headquarters. Franchisees also have access to management software to coordinate their business operations, including client services, membership and sales, and financial management.
MassageLuXe franchisees join a network of experienced entrepreneurs. Fellow owners support one another, networking and problem solving together. They also benefit from a comprehensive marketing advantage. MassageLuXe works with professional marketers to promote its locations. This benefits owners by lower marketing costs and providing increased market research.
Much like a standard franchise system, European Wax Center offers support to franchisees through ongoing training and support, results-driven marketing programs, and assistance with site selection and buildout.
With either brand, you’ll receive assistance from the franchisor. MassageLuXe offers their franchisees top-notch training and support. Don’t believe us? Hear it from MassageLuXe franchisees!
Founded in 2008 in St. Louis, Missouri, MassageLuXe is a fast-growing franchise-based spa company with a mission of delivering the highest-quality massage while providing a comfortable, relaxing, and luxurious environment to clients. To further this mission, MassageLuXe also grants clients access to Repechage facials and waxing services.
Massage is a service that improves health, promotes relaxation and overall well-being for the consumer, and has been practiced around the world for thousands of years. MassageLuXe currently has 68 locations across 16 states and is planning to expand to 250 locations in the next five years.