A little background on Steiner is probably necessary if you aren't familiar with the company. I stumbled upon Steiner a couple of years ago, when I noticed that most of the company's revenue was derived from running the shipboard spas for just about every major cruise line.
I recognized the opportunity. Favorable trends and a growing fleet of managed spas helped Steiner grow consistently. In fact, it has topped Wall Street estimates in 14 of the past 15 quarters. That made it an easy recommendation to Rule Breakers newsletter service subscribers, and the stock has risen by roughly 70% since I singled it out in the fall of 2004.
Shortly after the selection, I made my first purchase on TimeToSpa.com. It was my way of kicking the tires and giving my wife a gift at the same time. I was impressed. The site had an intuitive interface and plenty of sticky features, such as the ability to schedule regular delivery of the company's signature branded products.
Steiner further enhanced its Internet role last year, when the company began offering site visitors free online consultations from trained therapists. Nice! It's only natural to see Steiner as an old-school service company that has the good fortune of riding the popularity of cruise-line spas, but there's really a dot-com heart beating away under that waxed chest.
A third of the company's revenues are coming from its product lines. Its presence on top fleets such as Carnival (NYSE: CCL ) , Royal Caribbean (NYSE: RCL ) , and NCL exposes it to more than 1.5 million passengers a year. Patrons can naturally buy any care products they like while they're on the boat, but the online store grants Steiner the luxury of reaching out to those patrons 24/7 from anywhere.
Opening up a store on eBay and becoming part of the Amazon.com marketplace are new ways for the company to reach out to a larger audience. The new outlets will allow Steiner the ability to unload overstocked clearance merchandise without cheapening its flagship store. And it also marks Steiner's entry as yet another merchant that will now accept eBay's popular PayPal payment option.
Well done, Steiner. Keep rubbing the Internet the right way.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz will never be confused with a metrosexual -- his shoes don't even match at the moment -- but he has taken in a pair of Steiner spa treatments on the Disney Magic. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story, save for Disney.The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.