Across the industry we are seeing a reemergence of full, back to back cycle classes driven by boutiques.
Gyms like Soul Cycle, Fly Wheel and Psycle are putting cycling in the mainstream media and making it one of the hottest work out trends with millennials. It does not stop there, with CYCLEBAR selling over 100 franchises, TSI opening BFX and groups like Pure Gym in the UK set to open 25 sites with a goal of 100 studios.
So, does this indicate hell on earth for the full service gym? Does it matter? Is this movement only relevant in New York and London? What lessons can be learned in order to attract the gen Y share of wallet?
I recently read an article where Michelle Obama claimed that she loves to creep out of the White House with her girls and sneak into the back of a Soul Cycle studio. With this kind of endorsement, fantastic instructors and clever use of social media, it is no wonder the boutique has over 59 studios each earning an average of 1 Million USD earnings (EBITDA) per annum.
Cashing in on global technology trends Fly Wheel is focused in the world of high tech appealing to the high spending millennial markets through world class service, individual feedback and an authentic results focus.
Closer to home we have counted 23 cycle boutiques in Australia growing the segment rapidly (refer to graph above) in an industry that is reeling from the disruption of over 1000 functional boutiques open or set to open across the country.
Relatively small countries like Singapore already have 8 cycling studios with Kuala Lumpur and Manila showing growth in the segment as well.
If history is any indicator of successful product strategy, I would suggest that it makes more sense to read and ride the wave of the trends than oppose them blindly and risked being dumped.
Full service clubs like Les Mills Takapuna, a less than 2000sqm suburban health club with 1 GX studio, 1 Cycle Studio and the normal industry levels of cardio, weights and functional equipment have caught the trend early with impressive results. Armed with AC Neilson research the New Zealand club has leveraged Virtual, HIIT, and technology trends mixed with what they do well to drive 25% of club attendance through the cycle studio. The clubs cycling studio is rarely empty with Over 1000 rides a week making up a third, of which are Virtual Cycling.
If exploring and understanding the value curve that studios like Soul Cycle and Fly Wheel are leveraging interests you, I suggest in Australia that you book into one of Les Mills Asia Pacific Full Cycle Seminars here. If you are outside Australia register your interest here and we shall let you know about webinars or seminars in your country
If you happen to be attending The Australian Fitness & Health Expo (FILEX) in Melbourne on April 30th or May 1st Les Mills shall have 12 hours to set up a concept cycling studio showcasing how you can combine live HIIT programming with virtual and immersive technologies creating a cycling studio of the future. Let us know if you would like to see the studio in action where products like THE TRIP will be on display.
It looks like indoor cycling is set to take over the globe. In the words of R.E.M, “It’s the end of the world as we know it!...and I feel fine.”
Sales & Marketing Director