The UK’s largest sunbed chain, Indigo Sun, has opened its seventh location in Merseyside and its first on the Wirral in response to the region’s soaring demand for healthy tanning.
With the addition of eight new jobs and a total of 56 employees for the region, Indigo Sun has invested £350,000 in the new high-tech facility that is a part of a recently opened retail development on Woodchurch Road in Birkenhead.
The company recently passed the 100-salon milestone, and this is the second salon to open as a result of a brand refresh.
Frank Taylor, the founder and CEO of the family firm, said:
“We have 40,000 regular customers within a 20 mile radius of Liverpool and are thrilled to have bridged the Mersey for the first time into the Wirral.
“We know a large number of our customers have been making the trip into Liverpool and will be delighted to have an outlet on their doorstep. Likewise we realise we may have been out of reach for many who’d like to be able to visit regularly.
“This development on Woodchurch Road ticks every single box for us. Not only does it sit at a gateway to Birkenhead, but it gives extensive free parking, electric car charging and is a destination in its own right, owing to the outlets that surround us.”
During the pandemic Indigo Sun mapped out an ambitious growth strategy which will see it open 10 new outlets every year. It also embarked on a refitting and refurbishment programme, bringing an upmarket beach club aesthetic to its salons.
It is also a supporter of responsible tanning with extensively trained staff members able to offer guidance for all skin types. As well as premium beds and vertical units the salon will also be offering collagen red light therapy beds which aid muscle recovery and help with aging skin, stretch marks, scars, circulation, pigmentation and psoriasis.
The tanning giant has opened its Birkenhead salon with an initial 10 sunbeds and plans to invest a further £60,000 in three additional units once it has assessed local customer preferences. The salon will open 9am-9pm on weekdays and 10am-8pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
“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.
“On top of that our salons have more sunbeds installed to reduce waiting times and dedicated staff with an in-depth knowledge on the use of sunbeds. It’s easy to see why our customers across Merseyside spend an average of £500 a year with us.”
Work began last October to convert Birkenhead’s former Looker’s car dealership on Woodchurch Road into a small district centre of shops anchored by a Tesco convenience store which opened in February.
Joining Tesco and Indigo Sun next month will be a 24-hour gym, a tyre and exhaust centre and a car wash business, creating a further 35 jobs for the area.
The development benefits from 47 car parking spaces, and includes electric car charging provision.
Managing Director of Dransfield Properties, James Shepherd, said:
“We are delighted to see Indigo Sun open within our scheme. The salon will complement the gym well and benefit from the busy passing footfall at this scheme.
“We wish the team at Indigo Sun all the best with their opening and hope the local community is pleased with the development so far.
“The transformation has brought a hub of services to the local community along with creating a number of new jobs for the area.”
With its younger customer base and large foot fall the chain is now a prime target for retail developments, which are within town or city limits, but sit outside of traditional town centres.
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.
As well as the new Birkenhead outlet it already operates six salons in and around Liverpool.
Currently stretching from Inverness to London, Indigo Sun has 100 tanning venues across the UK, employing 817 people. Most of the salons are 1000-2000 sq ft.
In February 2023 Last Indigo Sun reported its best ever results, recording a turnover of more than £26m and almost £5.6m profit in its latest financial year.