The 10 Hottest Industries in Franchising

Spa services

Massage Envy
Once considered luxuries, therapeutic massage and other spa services are now considered by many to be necessities, especially during times of stress. It helps that franchises like Massage Envy, which rose to No. 64 this year, make them more affordable necessities, too.

The reigning queen of spa franchises--the one that direct competitors call the market pioneer--Massage Envy has over 600 locations and more than 800,000 monthly members. When it opened in 2002, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based franchise focused solely on massage therapy, but during the last year it has added services like facials to its offerings. The facilities aren't as opulent as a destination spa, but cost and convenience are the attractions.

Fast facts
Massage Envy has been on the Fastest-Growing Franchises list for the last five years in a row.

It has ranked No. 1 in its category for the last three years.

Massage Envy offers a discount program for military personnel.

"Customers feel we're delivering service comparable in quality to other day spas for half or a third of the price," says David Humphrey, CEO of Massage Envy. "They love the convenience. If you have a chronic back problem or overdid it exercising or have a tremendous tension headache, you don't want to call a day spa and make an appointment for 4 in the afternoon next Wednesday. You want to go now or tonight. That's what we offer."

Massage Envy
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 64
Therapeutic massage services
Cost: $300.9K-512.2K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 626/0

Elements Therapeutic Massage Inc.
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 422
Therapeutic massage studio
Cost: $159.1K-288K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 73/0

Massage Heights
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: 451
Therapeutic massage services & products
Cost: $199.8K-433.4K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 61/3

Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
Massage & spa services
Cost: $280.9K-395.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 29/2

LaVida Massage
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
Massage & spa services
Cost: $145.3K-260K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 31/2

Michelle Lea Massage Therapy Inc.
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
Holistic wellness & healthcare services
Cost: $62.5K-107.6K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/1

Planet Beach Franchising Corp.
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
Spa & UV-treatment services
Cost: $118.2K-410.2K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 325/1

The Woodhouse Day Spa
2011 Franchise 500(R) ranking: NR
Day spa services/bath & body retail products
Cost: $392.8K-510K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 22/1

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Tracy Stapp Herold is the special projects editor at Entrepreneur magazine. She works on franchise and business opportunity stories and listings, including the annual Franchise 500.

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This article was originally published in the March 2011 print edition of Entrepreneur's StartUps with the headline: Buy In While They're Hot.

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