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THE FUTURE OF BOUTIQUE FITNESS: PART 1
One sector within the fitness industry where there’s no shortage of headlines is boutique studios. These contemporary facilities take a highly personal approach with both area of fitness and overall service offering, and yet there’s huge inconsistency in what actually qualifies a boutique to be a boutique.
In a special interview with leading operators, touching every aspect of what boutique is about, Matthew Januszek speaks to an expert panel to not only drill down into what this market sector is about, but find out about the future of boutique fitness in years to come.
Once you’re done here be sure to check out The future of boutique fitness: Part 2.
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How technology will help or hinder the future of boutique fitness.
David Collignon, senior VP Blink Fitness.
“The technology’s a pretty big threat for some of these boutiques – how they either utilise it to make it beneficial for them and get more people into their boutiques, or use it to help people outside of their boutiques when they’re not there. That’s going to thin some of the players in this market pretty quickly.
“I think those that can’t really consistently deliver an experience in that community are going to quickly fall to the wayside. You can have any modality in the world; you can have any type of programming that you bring to the table, but if you can’t deliver it consistently, you are going to lose out.”
How boutique fitness has to be done right.
Josh Leve, founder and CEO of Association of Fitness Studios.
“In our research, when we reach out to fitness professionals through the major certifying organisations or our member base, 40% of fitness professionals want to start their own facility.
“Now, will they? We don’t know. Will they be successful? Many of them won’t be, unfortunately. That’s just the heart of the matter. But it’s not going away.
“I used to run big box health clubs for 10 years in the Chicago market. I was a GM of two locations. I’ve had many trainers underneath me leave to start up their own boutique studio. Many of them have not been successful. Some of them were not successful at the beginning but they worked their way to it. What I believe now is that, years ago, you could start up your own boutique or gym and guess your way through it. You can’t do that now.”
Why boutique fitness won’t be around in the future.
Dave Wright, creator and CEO of Myzone.
“I don’t think boutiques are a sustainable model. Categorically.
“As an industry, we come from variety. If everyone had the motivation to do it themselves, you’d do your push ups, your sit ups… You wouldn’t need a gym. Back in the ’80s we had standalone aerobics, but what made the rise of the health club is being able to kill as many birds with one stone.
“We talk about the boutiques being this high value. The aggregators have driven that price right down. Therefore, all of a sudden, this sounds great but the actual yield per member is so thin and we’ve got these shop front locations for these places paying enormous rents and our yield is so low.
“Anyone can open a gym and people will come in, but it’s year three, four and five where it really struggles. Are you strong enough to support that modality? I think the boutique sector is still very young.”
Check out The future of boutique fitness: Part 2.
For more insights from fitness industry thought leaders and entrepreneurs, check out the blog homepage.