Miscellaneous Personal Services, NEC

SIC 7299

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

This industry covers establishments primarily engaged in providing personal services, not elsewhere classified. Establishments primarily engaged in operating physical fitness facilities, including health fitness spas and reducing salons, are classified in various lodging industries depending on the type of lodging provided; if they do not provide lodging they are classified in SIC 7991: Physical Fitness Facilities.

This industry encompasses a wide array of niche industries that provide personal services in one realm or another. Diverse establishments such as dating services, costume rental shops, massage parlors, scalp treatment services, tuxedo rental, escort services, baby-sitting bureaus, and valet parking outfits all are placed in this miscellaneous industry classification.

According to Dun & Bradstreet's (D&B) Industry Reports, an estimated 91,385 miscellaneous personal service establishments operated in the United States in 2010. Some of the largest categories, based on D&B's classification, were handyman services, which accounted for 12,448 establishments; tanning salons, of which there were 11,933; and massage parlors, which constituted 10,572 establishments. Thousands of other firms focused on other special services. For example, there were 4,855 tattoo parlors, 3,436 party planning companies, and almost 5,000 apartment locating services. Overall the industry generated $15.7 billion in sales and employed 323,595 people in 2009.

Because of the diversification in this classification, it is difficult to identify an overall industry leader, although there are leading companies within the subsectors of the industry. For example, the diet center industry, which generated $1.6 billion in sales in 2009, according to D&B, was led by Weight Watchers International Inc. of New York. In 2010 Weight Watchers had about 1.3 million members and operated in more than 30 countries. The other leader in this sector was Jenny Craig, Inc. of Carlsbad, California, which owned or franchised 650 weight-loss centers around the world. Other large companies that operated its programs mostly online and through meal delivery in the early 2010s included eDiets.com Inc. and NutriSystems Inc.

The market for dating services in the U.S. grew approximately 9 percent per year in the mid-2000s, totaling just over $1 billion in 2004. Dating websites, which grew by 20 percent in 2004, and personal matchmakers, up 3.2 percent in 2004, accounted for the largest parts of the market. Among the largest companies in the growing Internet dating services field in the early 2010s was Match.com, based in Dallas, Texas. In 2010 the company had 1.3 million paying subscribers. Members post a personal profile and can search the website for potential matches for singles in more than 30 countries. Match.com, a division of IAC/InterActiveCorp., employed about 425 people in 2010. Another popular dating site was eHarmony.com, based in Pasadena, California. The company used its Compatibility Matching System to put people together, and in 2010 the site had about 20 million registered users in all 50 states and 190 countries.

Many businesses in the miscellaneous personal services industry were dealing with increased government regulation in the early 2010s. For example, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was considering placing restrictions on time spent in tanning beds as well as incorporating higher standards for tanning beds and other equipment used in the shops, and in 2010 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) implemented a 10 percent indoor tanning service excise tax, to be paid by consumers using the services provided by tanning salons.

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