By Matthew Taub
This past weekend I was a presenter at the Canadian fitness professional conference, canfitpro 2019. One of the presentations I was asked to do was a panel on Boutique Fitness. It was incredible to hear the thoughts and opinions of the panel as to why Boutique fitness is so hot right now.
Lets start with a definition of what Boutique fitness is. The overall consensus is a smaller facility. Foot print of approximately 800 to 3500 square feet. Impeccably clean, offering either a signature or a few signature classes with a limited number of people maxing our each class. These can be one off studios like Rory Pederzolli’s Rocket Cycle or Kelly Taphouse’s Move Fitness for women only. Or part of a chain like F45, Soul Cycle and Orangetheory Fitness.
These studios are not competing directly head to head. They are providing service to a unique clientele that are looking for something specific. Originally the Boutique fitness studios were made popular and were directly targeted to the millennial age bracket. People with little time, knowing specifically what they wanted. That has obviously broadened over the years but the demographic of millennial is still targeted. Wearable tech and instant feedback, two areas very popular with millennials. These studios now offer a sense of belonging. That no matter where you start, you are here and you are welcome.
No Longer After the Same Fitness Dollar
With big box fitness, the model was always based on getting the other guys members. The thought was, there was only one type of person with one specific amount of money for fitness and we were all after that same dollar. It was about getting the member of your competitor out of that location and into yours.
Boutique Fitness is not after that dollar. With so many Boutique and Big Box gyms in tight contained areas, Boutique fitness isn’t fighting for the big box dollars across the street. Boutique Fitness is looking at all the people walking past their doors AND the Big Box gyms. In Canada there are roughly 1 in 25 people that are a member of a GoodLife Fitness Big Box. That leaves 30 million people not going to any gym. Boutique or Big Box.
It Feels Like They’re Breaking Up With You When They Cancel
The Boutique fitness world is Booming today because people feel like they’re not selling fitness. They’re selling family. When a member cancels their membership they’ll often be heard saying “it feels like I’m breaking up with you”. Boutique Fitness is booming because when people join they know they’re joining a family. They’re coming for the workout. For the camaraderie. They’re coming because of they’re coming to spend time with family.