Consider indoor cycling. For the last few years, the rapid growth of SoulCycle spread to mainstream multipurpose clubs, who rode the wave like everybody else. Now, indoor cycling may have peaked, according to a report in Bloomberg. At the very least, cycling is experiencing market shifts, as Flywheel and other concepts flood the studio sector. And Peloton, the high-end, cloud-connected home workout, now has more subscribers than SoulCycle, according to research firm Data Points.
Indoor cycling is also competing against other workouts that are gaining significant traction in the marketplace. Rowing studios are increasing exponentially, as Row House, CityRow, and other row-specific SGT workouts increase in urban areas. It was recently announced that Row House plans to open 100 new franchises every year until 2020.
Other SGT functional fitness focused operators are on the rise. The training boutique F45, created in Australia, is quickly gaining steam. F45 is a variation of the circuit-training, HIIT theme, using many of the familiar training tools of functional fitness.
This shouldn’t surprise anybody. It’s the nature of the industry. But this market volatility can work to the advantage of mainstream multipurpose clubs if they remain flexible and position themselves to adapt accordingly. Studio brands are commonly locked into one type of workout or theme. Either you’re a cycling boutique, a CrossFit box, a yoga studio, etc. Multipurpose clubs don’t inherently have this problem. Larger, established chains and even small fitness facilities can host a variety of SGT classes that take advantage of today’s trends without going off-brand.
The question is: Do you have the floor space, instructors, and equipment for these different functional and SGT concepts? And, if not, how do you become nimble and versatile enough to cater to this critical segment of the market?
Dealing with the Logistics of Boutique Integration