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New Solution Will Offer Customers Retail Consulting & Expanded Product Selection 

Abingdon, Va.— Spa supplier Universal Companies has acquired À la Mode Partners, a retail resource focused on spa retail products and marketing. À la Mode Partners—the brainchild of founder and CEO Tracie Wertz and chief marketing officer Bill Barczy—will bring a collective 40 years of retail expertise and products to the Abingdon, Virginia, spa supplier.

 “À la Mode is a perfect fit for Universal Companies and we are thrilled to welcome them, ” says Brenda Elliott, Universal Companies CEO. “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.”

What can À la Mode do for spas?

À la Mode applies proven retail strategies to the non-traditional spa retail environment for optimum results. “We want to be your retail partner,” Wertz explains to spa owners. “Our goal is to help you drive incremental, profitable revenue.”

Barczy adds, “Our passion is retail because a spa’s profit is so closely tied to retail. 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.”


Emerging, Trendy & Eco-Chic

In addition to retail guidance, À la Mode and Universal Companies will be the premiere retail resource for approximately 75 emerging, trendy and eco-chic brands outside of skin care that inspire spontaneous purchases, client retention and consumer connection.

Wertz says, “Most of the vendors we work with have strong sustainability stories, are made in the USA, have charitable or community missions, are promotion-savvy, and provide enticing, on-trend products to keep inventory moving.”

Universal Companies customers will get their first look at the new retail offerings when the 2016 edition of The Spa Resource Book is launched next spring.


About Tracie Wertz

Tracie Wertz is a sales professional with over 20 years’ experience in the spa industry. Whether helping her spa clients with product assortment, staff sales training, merchandising or analytics, she loves to help drive significant sales increases for her clients. Wertz has worked primarily with resort and corporate spas since 2005 and has placed products into the most prestigious properties in the U.S. She also loves helping day spa and med spa owners improve their retail programs and realize greater profitability.

About Bill Barczy

Bill Barczy has spent nearly 20 years in marketing with a focus on retail. He has executed programs from single categories to national storewide programs. He has worked and managed agency-of-record assignments for Kraft Foods and Sears Holdings. His experience ranges from owning and operating a small marketing agency to running a $16 million consumer product division for one of the largest privately owned marketing agencies in the U.S.

About Universal Companies

For more than 30 years, 30,000+ spa professionals in 47 countries have trusted Universal Companies to be their single-source supplier, providing thousands of products to help them manage and grow their businesses. Located in beautiful and historic Abingdon, Virginia, they distribute furniture, fixtures, equipment, implements, supplies and spa apparel to customers from the largest spa to the independent practitioner. Universal Companies also offers professional skin and body products, retail items, and merchandising tools, and provides spas with innovative consulting services, educational materials and training options. For more information about the company, please call (800) 558-5571 or visit universalcompanies.com.