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The Skift Wellness newsletter is our weekly dispatch focused on what’s happening in wellness from a global business standpoint. Skift Wellness lives where wellness meets commerce, mindfulness meets technology, the yoga studio meets the boardroom, and health meets business.
Sleep. It’s what the hospitality industry is obsessing over.
It makes sense, knowing there’s been a shift in how consumers think about sleep. A handful of years ago, getting the right amount of rest was a luxury. Today, in the era of wellness, it’s imperative.
The hospitality industry is all too happy to cater to this about-face in sleep culture. After all, travelers constantly complain about sleep — or, rather, the lack thereof. Now, guests actually want to do something about it, and the industry is responding, hoping that piles of cash will follow.
Some hospitality brands, like Westin Hotels & Resorts, have been known for their sleep-related products for decades. But can they continue to use sleep as a differentiator as rivals also start to focus on how guests snooze?
We’ll also have to wait and see if these dreamy offerings — whether it’s a menu of meals that can help travelers sleep more deeply or a lavender sleep balm in every room — are enough to keep customers coming back. If travelers find they connect with a hotel’s sleep-promoting culture, the answer could be yes.
Check out my story below as we begin to post our own original Skift stories on wellness in travel in this newsletter.
Speaking of connecting with a brand’s culture, SoulCycle and Equinox fans are still fuming over the Stephen Ross political scandal. If this story tells us anything, it’s that people identify very closely with their favorite wellness brands. And as with any emotional bond, they can become ever more loyal to, or suddenly bolt from, a business based on how well they think company leaders are living up to the ethos they promote.
In the case of SoulCycle and Equinox, that could mean big losses for the company. In the case of the hospitality industry trying to connect with guests over sleep, it could mean big potential. The big question is, who’s going to come out on top?
— Leslie Barrie, Wellness Editor
The Hospitality Industry Sets Out to Woo Tired Travelers: From business travelers to vacationers, people are putting much more thought into the concept of sleep these days. That’s music to the hospitality industry’s ears as more brands in the space try to come up with innovative ways to help guests get a good night’s rest. Some brands are going all in on wellness — even researching circadian rhythms — while others are turning to customized offerings to win over drowsy customers. Who will actually win the slumber battle is anyone’s guess. Read more here.
How Veteran Well-Being Brand Canyon Ranch Stays Ahead of the Curve: Canyon Ranch has been in the wellness retreat business for 40 years and has a history of rolling out offerings focused on guest well-being long before they became mainstream trends. It continues to grow its strategic partnerships and add locations, with a third property set to open this fall just north of Silicon Valley in California. Canyon Ranch CEO Susan Docherty will be speaking at Skift Global Forum in New York City on September 19. Read more here.
The Equinox and SoulCycle Backlash Could Mean Big Losses: Both brands are known as accepting, inclusive places to break a sweat — albeit if you have enough money to pay for memberships. But boycotts following the news that investor Stephen Ross recently hosted a fundraiser for Trump’s reelection campaign threaten that ethos. Time will tell if Equinox and SoulCycle can recover from the backlash. Read more here.
Equinox Gets In on the Streaming Game to Compete With Peloton: Talk about a bad omen. In an attempt to keep pace with Peloton, Equinox Group announced a new hardware and streaming service right as the Stephen Ross scandal emerged. The news likely fell on deaf ears. Plenty of longtime customers of the fitness center seem more concerned about the company’s Trump-supporting investor than they do about the fact that they can now work out at home. Read more here.
Mind & Body
Investors Bet on Women’s Sexual Wellness Companies: Last week Grove Collaborative, an eco-friendly household cleaner company, bought Sustain Natural, a sexual health and wellness brand. This isn’t the first sexual wellness acquisition of the year: Procter & Gamble bought feminine care brand This is L. for $100 million back in February. The move shows sexual health could be the next “hot” wellness investment category, though we’ll see if organic tampons really prove profitable. Read more here.
Skift Wellness Editor Leslie Barrie [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the Skift Wellness newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.