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Health Club Management

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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

Boutique studios will transform sluggish gym sector, says Algar

Boutique fitness studios pose a significant threat to traditional gyms, which have taken their eye off the needs of consumers, warns respected fitness industry analyst Ray Algar in a new report.

Established brands such as Fitness First, Sports Direct Fitness and Virgin Active should be taking note, says Algar in the 2015 UK boutique fitness studio report, of their highly-compelling rivals. The report observes that boutique studios are becoming the drivers of overall market growth as they can command hourly fees of up to £30, build loyal communities, are attractive to investors and cannot simply be replicated, absorbed or priced out by big brand muscle.

Algar says the mushrooming of boutique studios in the UK can somewhat be attributed to their triumphs in the US, where initial successes have been converted into thriving businesses on the back of a solid business model. The report features an in-depth case of US boutique SoulCycle, which has grown to 40 studios boasting roughly 50,000 users per week, with plans to open in London next year.

Algar, who previously spoke at IHRSA Europe 2014 on how the march of boutique studios spells big trouble for traditional operators, said their fresh approach to fitness is starting to pay dividends.

"The rise of the boutique fitness studio is set to transform an otherwise mature and sluggish industry that is inward-looking, over-absorbed with mergers, acquisitions and defensive strategies and not paying enough attention to what today's customers, especially those with slightly deeper wallets, are willing to pay for," he said.

Algar’s report provides a close analysis of boutique studios – their characteristics, what drives them, how they are set apart from their larger counterparts and how they compete. It also features interviews with the minds behind high-profile UK boutique businesses such as Boom Cycle, Heartcore Fitness and 1Rebel.

Algar identifies the boutique studio’s focus on community and premium service as being key to striking a chord with the highly sought-after millennials market. He also notes that boutique studios stick pointedly to their core offering and provide expert-led sessions that stretch customers far more than self-led training, but at a much lower price than one-to-one coaching.

"Today's highly mobile and self-managing population will pay much more, pro rata, for a specialised experience, led by experts and available at a time and place to suit them, than they will for a monthly membership to a single brand that may have the kit but doesn't stretch either the muscles or the imagination,” said Algar.

“One-off fees and quick, easy bookings through phone and tablet apps enable consumers to cherry-pick from the best of the market wherever they happen to be and whenever they happen to be free. They will also often choose a brand that seems to identify with their own tribe.”

To purchase a copy of the new report, click here.

Boutique fitness studios pose a significant threat to traditional gyms, which have taken their eye off the needs of consumers, warns respected fitness industry analyst Ray Algar in a new report.
HAF,FIT,IND,PHR,RES
989391_222339.jpg
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Boutique studios will transform sluggish gym sector, says Algar

Boutique fitness studios pose a significant threat to traditional gyms, which have taken their eye off the needs of consumers, warns respected fitness industry analyst Ray Algar in a new report.

Established brands such as Fitness First, Sports Direct Fitness and Virgin Active should be taking note, says Algar in the 2015 UK boutique fitness studio report, of their highly-compelling rivals. The report observes that boutique studios are becoming the drivers of overall market growth as they can command hourly fees of up to £30, build loyal communities, are attractive to investors and cannot simply be replicated, absorbed or priced out by big brand muscle.

Algar says the mushrooming of boutique studios in the UK can somewhat be attributed to their triumphs in the US, where initial successes have been converted into thriving businesses on the back of a solid business model. The report features an in-depth case of US boutique SoulCycle, which has grown to 40 studios boasting roughly 50,000 users per week, with plans to open in London next year.

Algar, who previously spoke at IHRSA Europe 2014 on how the march of boutique studios spells big trouble for traditional operators, said their fresh approach to fitness is starting to pay dividends.

"The rise of the boutique fitness studio is set to transform an otherwise mature and sluggish industry that is inward-looking, over-absorbed with mergers, acquisitions and defensive strategies and not paying enough attention to what today's customers, especially those with slightly deeper wallets, are willing to pay for," he said.

Algar’s report provides a close analysis of boutique studios – their characteristics, what drives them, how they are set apart from their larger counterparts and how they compete. It also features interviews with the minds behind high-profile UK boutique businesses such as Boom Cycle, Heartcore Fitness and 1Rebel.

Algar identifies the boutique studio’s focus on community and premium service as being key to striking a chord with the highly sought-after millennials market. He also notes that boutique studios stick pointedly to their core offering and provide expert-led sessions that stretch customers far more than self-led training, but at a much lower price than one-to-one coaching.

"Today's highly mobile and self-managing population will pay much more, pro rata, for a specialised experience, led by experts and available at a time and place to suit them, than they will for a monthly membership to a single brand that may have the kit but doesn't stretch either the muscles or the imagination,” said Algar.

“One-off fees and quick, easy bookings through phone and tablet apps enable consumers to cherry-pick from the best of the market wherever they happen to be and whenever they happen to be free. They will also often choose a brand that seems to identify with their own tribe.”

To purchase a copy of the new report, click here.

Boutique fitness studios pose a significant threat to traditional gyms, which have taken their eye off the needs of consumers, warns respected fitness industry analyst Ray Algar in a new report.
HAF,FIT,IND,PHR,RES
989391_222339.jpg

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Featured supplier: Storytelling - the future of fitness content
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