bgs final report_spa and wellness industry

However once it goes overboard for several firms the

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Unformatted text preview: more choices and better pricing. However, once it goes overboard for several firms, the consumer’s impression of the industry can be affected. This can in turn affect other legitimate firms who do not engage in overly aggressive sales tactics. This will also cause the social costs of hard-selling tactics to overshadow the social benefits of giving consumers more choices and better pricing. Sleaze in Local Spas Overview The sleazy image of the local spa industry has been prevalent since the 1950s. With the advent of the Spas Association of Singapore (SAS), the situation has changed. Big and medium-sized firms like Expressions International, Balik Kampung and Amore Day Spa now practice and advocate proper business ethics to enhance the industry’s image and reputation. Coupled with the Western notions of the health benefits of visiting spas, it has changed Singapore society’s perception of this industry16. Nonetheless, small – and mostly unregulated – firms that operate in secluded corners of old shopping centres, basements of hotels and motels are negating the efforts of those big and medium firms and SAS to enhance the image of this industry. In order to maintain a steady cash flow to cover costs, these small firms have to ensure that they maintain a decent customer base. Such firms normally rely on personalized services to attract and retain customers. However, ethical issues arise when most of them want to find the fastest, easiest and surest method to retain customers – sex. We discovered through our research and investigations that small firms like Dickson Spa Centre and Sasha Spa do not supervise or prevent their workers from providing sexual services. In fact, the spa operators actually allow such services to be provided to customers. The team discovered through online forums that there were some therapists in these spas who provide sexual services in their respective premises17. During our undercover interview with the receptionists of both spas, both of them were evasive and implicitly stated that sexual services are provided 16 Appendix F - Radio interview: Miss Howie Lim interviews Mr Peter Sng, President of the Spa Association of Singapore http://www.rsi.sg/english/singaporescene/view/20040923162 10/1/.html 17 Appendix G - Sammyboy Forum: List of therapists by the spa therapists. Both receptionists also acknowledged the presence of the therapists whom we enquired for (whose names were found in the forum18). The team believes that such firms benefit from allowing these services mainly because they would be able to attract and retain customers. These firms recognize the fact that sex sells, and they exploit that to the fullest by allowing or perhaps even encouraging their therapists to offer sexual services. These firms also recognize that there is a huge demand 19 for sexual services, predominantly by men. As such, in face of fierce competition from other spas, some of these spas resort to offering sexual services to lure customers and earn profits. Other reasons why sexual services is present in small spa firms is further substantia...
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This document was uploaded on 01/14/2014.

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