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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

London boutique fitness market coming of age, says Heartcore founder

The explosion of new boutique gym sites across London demonstrates how consumers are waking up to the possibilities of boutique group fitness, according to the co-founder of Heartcore Fitness.

Brian Schuring, whose chain of boutique studios spans seven sites across the capital, says the flurry of recent activity and investment in the market space suggests there is still plenty of room for growth. This year has already seen the arrival of 1Rebel and the scaling up of brands like barrecore and Barry’s Bootcamp, suggesting consumers are increasingly willing to pay a high premium in return for telling results.

Brian, who runs the business with celebrity personal trainer Jess Schuring, has also launched two new Heartcore studios in 2015 – in the City and Mayfair. He plans to launch two more by spring, and says the opportunities in the market mean there is potential for up to 15 Heartcore studios in London.

“Things are certainly hotting up at the moment and we’re expecting 2015 to be our busiest year ever,” Brian told Health Club Management.

“We’re seeing huge demand for Heartcore Barre at the moment – classes are up to 95 per cent occupancy – and that seems to be a trend that’s trickled through from the US.

“It’s been very interesting to watch well-funded, smart investors come into the boutique group fitness market and from our perspective, we’re in the place we want to be right now.”

To a large extent, the success of boutique group fitness in the UK has so far centred on building small communities of loyal consumers who are willing to pay a premium for challenging workouts in classes of 6-10 people. But as the boutique market scales up and consumer demand grows, will it prove possible to retain that intimate setting and personalised training?

“Not necessarily,” says Schuring. “Some of the boutique operators are now running classes of 50+ people, and in that environment, what you lose in personal attention, you gain in terms of phenomenal energy.

“You see this in New York with SoulCycle classes of 60 people which are absolutely buzzing. Boutique consumers are going to benefit from having the choice between the focus of intimate classes and the huge energy of larger sessions.”

On a final thought, Brian – whose background in private equity and hedge fund investment means he is on good terms with Fitness First owners Oaktree Capital – expects boutique classes to eventually spread into the London health clubs of the traditional chains.

“I’m not saying it will be this year, but as markets change there’s a huge opportunity for big gyms to provide better classes and charge more for them,” he adds.

“The big chains have great footprints and what we consider to be excess square footage, so perhaps that’s something they’ll look into at some point in the future. It’s certainly something we’d consider.”

The explosion of new boutique gym sites across London demonstrates how consumers are waking up to the possibilities of boutique group fitness, according to the co-founder of Heartcore Fitness.
HAF,FIT,IND,PHR,PTS
898946_951258.jpg
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News

London boutique fitness market coming of age, says Heartcore founder

The explosion of new boutique gym sites across London demonstrates how consumers are waking up to the possibilities of boutique group fitness, according to the co-founder of Heartcore Fitness.

Brian Schuring, whose chain of boutique studios spans seven sites across the capital, says the flurry of recent activity and investment in the market space suggests there is still plenty of room for growth. This year has already seen the arrival of 1Rebel and the scaling up of brands like barrecore and Barry’s Bootcamp, suggesting consumers are increasingly willing to pay a high premium in return for telling results.

Brian, who runs the business with celebrity personal trainer Jess Schuring, has also launched two new Heartcore studios in 2015 – in the City and Mayfair. He plans to launch two more by spring, and says the opportunities in the market mean there is potential for up to 15 Heartcore studios in London.

“Things are certainly hotting up at the moment and we’re expecting 2015 to be our busiest year ever,” Brian told Health Club Management.

“We’re seeing huge demand for Heartcore Barre at the moment – classes are up to 95 per cent occupancy – and that seems to be a trend that’s trickled through from the US.

“It’s been very interesting to watch well-funded, smart investors come into the boutique group fitness market and from our perspective, we’re in the place we want to be right now.”

To a large extent, the success of boutique group fitness in the UK has so far centred on building small communities of loyal consumers who are willing to pay a premium for challenging workouts in classes of 6-10 people. But as the boutique market scales up and consumer demand grows, will it prove possible to retain that intimate setting and personalised training?

“Not necessarily,” says Schuring. “Some of the boutique operators are now running classes of 50+ people, and in that environment, what you lose in personal attention, you gain in terms of phenomenal energy.

“You see this in New York with SoulCycle classes of 60 people which are absolutely buzzing. Boutique consumers are going to benefit from having the choice between the focus of intimate classes and the huge energy of larger sessions.”

On a final thought, Brian – whose background in private equity and hedge fund investment means he is on good terms with Fitness First owners Oaktree Capital – expects boutique classes to eventually spread into the London health clubs of the traditional chains.

“I’m not saying it will be this year, but as markets change there’s a huge opportunity for big gyms to provide better classes and charge more for them,” he adds.

“The big chains have great footprints and what we consider to be excess square footage, so perhaps that’s something they’ll look into at some point in the future. It’s certainly something we’d consider.”

The explosion of new boutique gym sites across London demonstrates how consumers are waking up to the possibilities of boutique group fitness, according to the co-founder of Heartcore Fitness.
HAF,FIT,IND,PHR,PTS
898946_951258.jpg

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Stelian Iacob

Stelian Iacob, CEO and senior VP, Therme Group
We’re seeing a much greater focus on the need to integrate healthy living into daily life and reconnect with nature and each other
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Digital meets personal with the new Virtual Player from FunXtion, experts in interactive fitness, which allows clubs to stream and schedule world class virtual classes anytime, providing an interactive workout experience on the gym floor, functional area or directly to members at home via an app.
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With gyms reopening as the fitness industry recovers from the impact of the pandemic, members are seeking social interaction and engaging training experiences in a small group setting.
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Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Online,
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