Toppers Spa, a regional chain offering massages, facials, and manicures among other services, has closed all locations and filed for bankruptcy. The company, which had been in business for over 40 years, had locations in Pennsylvania in Center City, Devon, and Newtown, as well as in Marlton, N.J., and Dover, Del.
“The economic challenges of the past couple of years have become overwhelming and impossible to face as a small business,” reads a note on the company’s website.
The business opened in 1981, according to a statement from the company published by 6abc. To remain open, the company had sought external financing and loans, the statement noted.
In 2020, the Newtown location closed, followed by the location near Rittenhouse Square in 2021 and Devon in 2022, according to 6abc. The last remaining locations in Marlton and Dover closed on April 28. On July 7, the company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Donna Geist, 52, who works for an education nonprofit, became a “passport member” of the Dover location in 2018, paying a monthly fee and racking up points and discounts. Around Christmas last year, a staff member told her how many credits she still had at the spa, which seemed odd to Geist, who had never received that kind of update before. Then, she said, one of her masseuses told her she didn’t know how much longer the business might be open.
Geist started using up her credits, but then it sounded like the business was doing better, she said.
“I was told it looks like we’re going to stay open, so I didn’t think anything of it, and then literally, about six weeks later, they were closed,” she said.
Geist joined a Facebook group where others with hundreds of dollars worth of spa gift cards have come together to try to figure out what they can do about their unused balances. Geist has around $250 left in store credit. Just a few days before the spa’s closure, her brother and sister-in-law got her a gift card for her birthday.
“I’ve kind of accepted that this likely will just end up being a loss for me,” she said.
Kari Pollock, 52, who works in health care, visited the Dover location mainly for manicures and pedicures. On May 3, she showed up for an appointment to find the spa closed without forewarning. She estimates that she has $1,500 worth of member credits that could have been used on services, as well as a $250 gift card.
“Unfortunately, because I don’t have a statement of my account, I’m in a difficult place in terms of just proving that I’m owed that amount of money,” she said.
According to the bankruptcy filing, Toppers Salon & Health Spa Inc. has up to 49 creditors, and its estimated liabilities are valued between $1,000,001 and $10 million. The company has estimated assets between $0 and $50,000. A creditors meeting is scheduled for Aug. 16, when company representatives will be questioned.
For Ana Misic, 43, a scientist at a biotech company, Toppers is the second Philadelphia spa where she was a customer to go out of business. She used to visit the Spa Terme Di Aroma, which closed last summer. She had store credit for massages there but was able to get a refund through her credit card company.
“From now on, my take-home message is: If you’re going to buy somebody a gift card, just give them cash,” she said.