Health and Wellness Service Providers Turn their Attention to Social Media
November 4, 2021 3 Minute Read
Health and wellness clinics are no longer content being stuck on the third floor of some old building, hidden from public view.
A new generation of service providers—from registered massage therapists to fertility clinics to aesthetic services—want their offerings out in the open, ideally with a street-facing, brand forward, Instagram-able retail presence.
“Five years ago, health and wellness businesses weren’t looking to spend money on traditional retail space. They may have wanted a good location but were okay with being on the second or third floor of an office or a medical building,” says Jackson Turner, CBRE’s Toronto-based retail broker.
“But now they are forced to innovate to keep up with the times and create buzz on social media. They want visibility in an area with lots of eyes on it and a cutting-edge design to differentiate their business.”
Medical service providers are attractive to institutional landlords—they see these operators as destination-driven retailers that offer great amenities to other tenants while also drawing people into their properties.
A perfect example is Myodetox, which has taken the notion of the sterile registered massage therapist clinic and turned it on its head.
Myodetox’s manual therapy clinics are sleek and modern; the kind of space that’s as easy on the eyes as it is soothing to the body. They’ve elevated the clinic experience to include concierge-type services, upscale amenities, and seamless technology.
“They put more money into the build-out and focused on customer acquisition through Instagram and social media, and now they’ve created this cool brand,” says Turner. “They’re attracting a different demographic.”
Another example is Twig Fertility, which opened a large clinic at the corner of Avenue Road and Eglinton Avenue West—one of Toronto’s most affluent areas.
"We have reimagined every aspect of the clinical experience to be more thoughtful, more personal and more comfortable for you," Twig’s website reads. "Our new clinic is tech-enabled at every stage of your journey."
From its beautifully designed clinic to its compassionate approach to care to its cutting-edge technology, Twig is aiming to remove the stigma surrounding fertility challenges.
"A lot of people deal with fertility challenges in private, and they want to bring awareness to it and make this an approachable, welcoming spot,” Turner says. “You can come in and ask questions, get to know more about it.”
Then there are cosmetic services, like Botox and laser hair removal, which are more popular than ever amongst a population that’s spent nearly two years closely inspecting their own faces on video calls.
Providers are locked in a heated competition for spaces that will help them set their offerings apart from competitors.
“It’s all about being Instagram-able, having a storefront that people walk by and go, ‘Whoa, what is that?’” Turner says. “You need something that gets people talking and posting about their experience once they are in the door.”
Following the lead of fashion retailers, health and wellness tenants are seeking out unique spaces that will appeal to people on social media.
“We’re at a turning point. No matter what type of retailer you’re in you can’t rely purely on bricks and mortar,” says Turner. “Social media is a massive driver in the retailing business, and this has been accelerated by people being locked down during the pandemic. It’s a new generation of shopping.”
It’s all hands on deck in Canada’s hospitality sector. For the first time since 2019 the hotel industry is operating at full capacity, without restrictions.
Interest rates are up and commercial property sales have slowed. Lenders are responding to new economic realities by shifting capital away from properties seen to have a higher risk, especially speculative land purchases and certain office assets.
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