The UK has turned its bronzed back on tanning, with the number of salons dropping by almost a third last year.
This is according to new figures from Simply Business, which found that the number of tanning salons fell by 35 per cent between 2008 and 2012.
The data suggests that Brits are rejecting the TOWIE tan in favour of a more natural look, taking their lead from celebrities like Victoria Beckham, rather than Joey Essex.
But the Simply Business figures, which were compiled through analysis of some 750,000 insurance quote requests, suggest that Joey certainly still has some cachet, with the number of male-run tanning salons having risen to 42 per cent in 2012, from just 37 per cent in 2008.
Meanwhile tanning businesses seem increasingly the preserve of the young, with some 35 per cent of salons now run by those between the age of 26 and 35 - making this the group amongst which businesses of this sort are the most popular.
Simply Business CEO Jason Stockwood said: “Trends in the business world frequently mirror those seen in popular culture, leading to a rapid boost in the number of start-ups in related sectors, often followed by a levelling or period of decline. The apparent fall in tanning salons would appear to be following a similar pattern, as consumers set their sights on new fashion trends. It is also possible that increased awareness of potential health risks is playing a part.
“Once again young entrepreneurs appear to be finding opportunities where others may not. They are bracing the economic downturn and creating new business ventures, proving that although the current market is tough, there is still growth to be had. It’s just a matter of finding the right business strategy.”