Tattoo Parlors & Tattoo Removal Is Now A Booming $4.5 Billion Industry

Neon sign in display window of tattoo parlorTattoos and body art in the U.S. have soared in popularity lately, especially amongst Millennials and Gen Z, fueling an industry comprised of 11,600 tattoo studios. The industry, which also includes tattoo removal services, is estimated to be worth $4.5 billion, and is growing strongly.

This is a fragmented market comprised of many small, privately-owned businesses (studios) that have a high profit margin but low gross revenues. There are no public companies or large chains, but private equity firms have shown increased interest in this business. The business is recession-resistant, but not recession-proof. The market sees a major uptick in business immediately after major social and economic events, such as the 2008 recession and 2020 pandemic.

Top 6 Things to Know About the Tattoo Parlors & Tattoo Removal Industry

  • Marketdata estimates that revenues of this market will reach $4.48 billion this year. Tattoo studio revenues are $3.08 billion and tattoo removal services generate $1.86 billion.
  • U.S. tattoo studios’ revenues are forecast to grow 7.7% yearly through 2030, and the tattoo removal market is expected to grow by 11% per year.
  • There are roughly 52,000 tattoo artists in the U.S., who earn $51,867 per year, on average. Many link up with local tattoo shops and split their earnings 50/50 with the owner, but some remain independent and set up shop at home.
  • Almost one-third of American adults now have a tattoo. Women are more likely to have tattoos than men. However, 24% of those with a tattoo regret it and may want to have it removed. Several medical professionals will do that for you: medical spas, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons.
  • The tattoo removal market is growing strongly, with 164,000 procedures performed by dermatologic surgeons in 2019. Other MDs, med spas, and some tattoo shops also do procedures. The average cost is $1,000+, over 7 sessions. Laser equipment technology is improving, and the cost will no doubt come down as new and better machines enter the market.
  • The tattoo studio business is easy to enter and can be lucrative. One can get started for about $25,000. After a few years of establishing their clientele and honing their craft, most tattoo artists earn $50,000/year and shops have an average profit margin of 55% after expenses.

Where to Learn More

To find out more, be sure to read Marketdata's new report U.S. Tattoo Studios & Tattoo Removal Services: A Market Analysis, which provides an updated look at market size, consumer demographics, forecasts, operating ratios and profit margins, competitive profiles, and more.

About the Author:  John LaRosa is the President of Marketdata LLC and is the author of 100+ industry and market studies. His research appears in top media outlets including ABC, CNN, Fox, ForbesUSA TodayThe Wall Street JournalThe New York Times, and a variety of trade journals. 

Topics: Retail Industry Insights