How Boutique Fitness Is Improving Clients' Experience?
What is a 'boutique' fitness studio?
A boutique fitness studio is a compact fitness facility (800-3500 sq ft) that specializes in one or two fitness disciplines and focuses on group training. Boutiques are known for their high prices, which is one of their most appealing features. Soul Cycle, a renowned group cycling studio, costs around $32 for a one-hour group session, while other studios may charge $20 or more. The fitness industry is experiencing a major boom due to the establishment of several boutique fitness studios. One of the most rapidly expanding segments of the fitness business is none other than boutique fitness.
Let's have a look at some statistical facts in the research review by RunRepeat, to better grasp the current fitness scenario;
- By 2022, the boutique fitness business is predicted to be valued at $22.1 billion, rising 4.63 % from $21.1 billion of its worth before the pandemic in 2019.
- By 2025, the sector is expected to reach $26.2 billion, rising from an expected rate of 16.97% in 2022.
- During the pandemic in 2020, the boutique fitness industry's revenue had dropped to as low as $8.8 billion.
- The boutique fitness business is predicted to grow by 2,000 studios in the next five years. More than 42% of all gym memberships make for boutique fitness studios, accounting for over half of the gym industry's $102 billion revenue in 2021.
Before we get into the reasons for the current surge in boutique studio fitness, it's important to define what boutique fitness is. Boutique fitness is, at its heart, a tiny segment of the fitness business, but it has lately become one of the fastest expanding segments of the industry. So, what's the big deal, and what prompted boutique fitness to rise to prominence and become a revenue-driving force in the fitness industry?
Skip ahead to :
- Boutique fitness is shaking up the fitness industry
- Features that gained mass-market for boutique fitness
- The coexistence of boutique fitness & conventional studios
- Great Investment Opportunity
Boutique fitness is shaking up the fitness industry
Fitness boutiques revolutionized the business, resulting in the majority of membership growth over the last decade. They responded to the specific needs of millennials and younger generations, who desired more personalized experiences, a feeling of community, and more flexible involvement. Boutique memberships grew 74% from 2012 to 2015, according to the global trade body IHRSA, versus just 5% for health clubs. Boutique fitness studios began with a smaller customer base, but their 35% share of overall income demonstrates their importance. Some of the top names currently in the Fitness industry of the US are:
1. Barry's Bootcamp- Barry's is a boutique fitness studio that specializes in high-intensity interval workouts that alternate between cardio and strength training sessions. In 1998, the firm was launched in Los Angeles. Now, Barry's has more than 70 studios in 14 countries, the majority of which are in the United States.
2. Physique 57- Physique 57 is a New York City-based worldwide fitness and media firm that provides a fitness experience in boutique studios as well as through proprietary and third-party digital platforms. It has studios throughout the United States, Dubai, India, and Bangkok that are both corporately owned and franchised.
3. Orangetheory Fitness- Orangetheory Fitness is a Boca Raton-based boutique fitness studio chain. Ellen Latham, the founder, launched the first studio in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 2010. Over one million people have joined Orangetheory Fitness, which boasts 1,300 studios in 50 states and 23 countries. Since its inception in 2010, the chain has grown significantly, with total sales exceeding $1 billion.
4. Soul Cycle- SoulCycle, owned by Equinox Group is a boutique fitness studio that specializes in indoor cycling and spinning workouts. The company does not provide memberships and operates on a pay-per-class basis. It was established in 2006 and operates in the US, Canada, and the UK. It boasted of 99 studios prior to the COVID-19.
5. F45 Training- F45 Training is a fitness facility chain headquartered in Austin, Texas. In 45 countries throughout Australia/Oceania, North America, South America, Asia, Europe, and Africa, it has over 1,750 studios delivering premium boutique fitness experience. With over 550 locations in Australia and over 650 in the United States, it is now one of the fastest-growing fitness franchises in the world. Adam Gilchrist and Rob Deutsch founded the fitness business in 2011 as part of a drive to boutique fitness.
6. Pure Barre- Pure Barre is the largest barre boutique fitness studio, with almost 600 facilities and over 76,000 active members, delivering a variety of effective, low-impact, full-body exercises for a wide range of fitness levels. It is ranked in Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise 500 List each year.
7. Title Boxing Club- Title Boxing Club is a leading boxing boutique fitness studio in the $80 billion global fitness sector, with 144 clubs operating and another 150 in construction across the United States. It opened its doors in 2008 and today boasts itself as a pioneer in the boutique fitness market.
There's a long way to go for boutique fitness studios as the revolution won't end here. The technology has shaped up and gyms have learned to meet the consumer demand through flexibility and convenience rather than operating as per their own convenience. Delivering value has now become the utmost priority for gyms. Boutique fitness has brought a change into the fitness industry and is not just another trend. It has emerged successfully into this boom due to numerous reasons that we'll discuss below.
Features that gained mass-market for boutique fitness
There are several reasons that led to the rise of boutique fitness in the fitness industry. Here are the core features that resulted in the revolution of the fitness industry.
- Target demographic of the younger generation
The features that appeal to Gen Z and Millennials are part of what boutique fitness has gotten into. According to the IHRSA, those aged eighteen to twenty-five are more likely to use boutique fitness studios, while those aged thirty-five to fifty-four are more likely to use traditional fitness facilities.
Boutique fitness has a different clientele than a regular big-box fitness facility, and its rise is tied to the attractiveness of this younger group. The popularity and expansion of the boutique fitness business are also tied to social media, which mostly targets the younger population. Many boutique fitness studios have tapped into the potential of social media influencers and a strong social media presence to bring in new consumers. Despite the greater cost, many people consider the value and community aspect provided by boutique fitness to be well worth the investment.
- Limited availability & higher personalization
Since boutique fitness studios are often smaller than big-box counterparts of the industry, they have a limited class schedule, which means there are fewer spots available in the sessions. If the boutique fitness studio is very popular, it may have an advance registration system in place as well as a class waiting list.
Personalization and customized exercise regimens are two of the most appealing aspects of boutique fitness. Studios often specialize in a certain style of exercise and have small classes of 8-12 people. This means the instructor will have more time to focus on you individually.
- Specialized training
Because a boutique fitness studio has a smaller group setting and provides direct instruction by a fitness instructor who has often received specialized training or certification in that particular fitness area, many people consider the higher cost of a class at a boutique fitness studio to have an associated higher value.
Rather than paying less to go to a big box gym and being faced with a lack of knowledge about how to get the results they want, participants in boutique fitness classes are invited to show up and put in the effort, and the instructor will provide all of the direction and guidance they need to reach their personal goals. For many people seeking instruction without incurring the additional cost of hiring a personal trainer, eliminating the uncertainty and confusion maybe another significant appeal.
- Sense of community & Increased accountability
When a studio focuses solely on one service, it implies that everyone who goes in has the same goal in mind. These like-minded members form a community, which fosters accountability and encourages everyone to return to class after class. This constancy is beneficial to the participants in terms of health, but it is also beneficial to the company since participants are effectively marketing classes for them.
Soul Cycle is an excellent boutique studio exemplifying this sense of community. The workout sessions at such studios become personal after a time. To add a personal touch to its offerings, the studio has posted a community-driven message for its members on its website.
- Breaks the monotony
Individuals looking for targeted, particular sorts of workouts in a friendly setting may find boutique fitness classes more enticing and better accessible. The days of unending solo exercises are long gone, thanks to boutique fitness facilities. Many people, especially the younger generation, would rather skip the treadmill to attend a boutique fitness class that offers a fun alternative to monotonous and dull gym visits.
Let's see how the scenario has changed for the traditional gyms as boutique fitness studios stepped into the fitness industry.
The coexistence of boutique fitness & conventional studios
Boutique fitness studios have gained so much popularity in recent years that they now account for 35% of the overall fitness industry's income. Traditional fitness studios may be concerned about the growth and overall share, but they do not need to be, especially if they are not competing for the same customer base.
Inexpensive gyms with low membership rates and month-to-month contracts are not in direct rivalry with boutique studios that only cater to a certain niche. Unlike studios like Planet Fitness and Anytime Fitness, which provide access to a wide choice of workout options, boutiques cater to a very specific demographic.
However, gyms that operate on the same model as boutique gyms may have to worry. If there is an Orange Theory studio in the region, for example, health clubs that provide a heart rate-based training session may be competing with it. People may opt to pay to attend a class with the experts rather than pay a monthly cost plus a class charge to a typical gym because Orange Theory specializes in this form of training and rates at a health club may be higher.
Great Investment Opportunity
With the demand for boutique fitness studios reaching new heights, it is safe to say investing that in a boutique studio would be a lucrative opportunity. To all the people who are looking to invest in boutique fitness in this upcoming year, then they have made the right decision that can bring in a lot of money. Check out the guide to know which boutique fitness studios could bear the maximum return on your investment. And the ones who are looking for alternatives other than boutique fitness studios to invest in must also have a look at our guide before they take the final decision. The insightful guide would definitely assist you in making the right investment choice. The guide explores every aspect of investing in a boutique fitness studio, from investment, franchise fees to revenues. Start reading now!
One can not deny that since the pandemic fitness industry has changed 360 degrees. Along with it new challenges and new opportunities have also emerged. Here is a comprehensive guide to opening a gym or boutique studio after the pandemic.
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