Universal Companies Acquires À la Mode Partners

Spa supplier Universal Companies has acquired À la Mode Partners, a resource focused on spa retail products and marketing founded by Tracie Wertz and Bill Barczy, to offer retail consulting services and an expanded product selection. “À la Mode is a perfect fit for Universal Companies, and we are thrilled to welcome them, ” says Brenda Elliott, CEO of Universal Companies. “Bringing Tracie and Bill on board will enhance our mission of delivering innovative spa solutions to maximize our customers’ success. Their background and knowledge in the spa and resort industry, combined with the expansive retail collection they bring with them will help our customers embrace retail sales and increase their profits like never before.”

According to Wertz, À la Mode will apply proven retail strategies to the non-traditional spa retail environments to help spas achieve optimum results via the new partnership. “Our goal is to help drive incremental, profitable revenue,” says Wertz. The company offers four levels of consulting services, from complimentary assessment to comprehensive, custom corporate consulting, to address different spa goals in all areas of retail management. “Our passion is retail because a spa’s profit is so closely tied to retail,” says Barczy. “The opportunity is huge, but it’s also challenging because spa operators often don’t have the background, time, or finances to put into retail. We understand that, and so we provide the basic building blocks of retail management: the right principles, products, and promotions at the right time.”

In addition to retail guidance, À la Mode and Universal Companies will be a retail resource for approximately 75 emerging eco-chic brands outside of skincare. The brands have been chosen to inspire spontaneous purchases and improve client retention and consumer connection. “This portfolio of products offers variety, promotional opportunities, and seasonal shifts to give spas an exciting range of items that will keep clients coming in frequently,” says Wertz. “Most of the vendors we work with have strong sustainability stories, are made in the U.S., have charitable or community missions, are promotion-savvy, and provide enticing, on-trend products to keep inventory moving.” The 2016 edition of The Spa Resource Book will include the expanded retail offerings.