Boutique fitness has come a long way since the days of independently owned operations. For many boutique fitness brands turned corporate, what started as just one studio has grown not only nationally, but globally. Plans for expansion are poised to bring these unique workouts to markets that need them most.
So, which national brands should you be on the look out for in terms of expansion? And how did they decide where to place their newest locations? Here’s a look at what’s next for these major boutique fitness brands, where they’re expanding to, and the strategy behind why they’ve set their sights on these locations.
Currently, Club Pilates is the largest Pilates franchise in the U.S. — with 224 studios currently open and operating throughout the country. By the end of 2017, the brand plans to increase that number to 350, with new studio locations set to open in Boston, Philadelphia, New York City, Portland and Seattle, as well as areas of Northern California, and hit over 900 franchise locations by March of next year. With over 50 different types of group classes offered including mat and reformer workouts that improve flexibility, posture, core strength and stamina, it’s no wonder that the brand has become such a hit for Pilates enthusiasts who are constantly looking to take their practice to the next level.
“As fitness-minded consumers from the east and west coasts continue to broaden their workout preferences with more mind and body based principles, Club Pilates is stepping up its expansion to meet the demand,” says Anthony Geisler, CEO of Club Pilates. “The uptick in health and wellness-focused businesses is undeniable and now more than ever, consumers in these prime territories are looking for premium and diverse fitness class choices for all ages and levels, offered at affordable price options.”
CycleBar opened its first location outside Boston in 2004. Founders Bill Pryor and Alex Klemmer have since rapidly expanded the studio all over the country through franchise relationships in cities and suburbs as far reaching as Seattle, New Orleans, Philadelphia and San Diego. What makes CycleBar unique and appealing to a wider audience? Their performance-tracking CycleStats technology, which allows users to complete group challenges and compete with other riders, and CycleBeats, where users can see and hear sample playlists for each class.
The franchise operation, which has over a hundred locations including in the suburbs, shows no signs of slowing down, with recent investments announced from equity firm TPG Growth, which is also behind the growth of the Club Pilates franchise. Mark Fisher, CEO of CycleBar, said in a statement, “With the support of our new partners at TPG Growth – an accomplished investor known for building and scaling businesses – we are even better positioned to grow our communities and connect with more riders across the country.” There are currently 35 new locations in the works from the US to Canada.
With more than 50 locations in the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia markets, wallet-friendly gym chain Blink Fitness has set their sights on expanding throughout the United States. Expect approximately 70 new locations in major U.S. markets, such as Boston and Los Angeles, before the end of the year. In addition, Blink Fitness president Todd Magazine has shared that Blink expects to surpass the 300-unit mark over the next five years.
The company also recently partnered with ClassPass to bring users in New York City a new co-membership option. Customers now have access to unlimited Blink Fitness visits as well as 5-10 ClassPass classes per month, depending on their plan.
Title Boxing Club
As for boxing studios, TITLE Boxing Club has been leading the charge in the industry for quite some time — and has no plans on slowing down anytime soon. The nation’s largest and fastest growing boxing fitness franchise, TITLE has more than 175 clubs operating across the U.S. — with more than 250 locations currently in development.
“With the global fitness and health club industry generating more than 80 billion U.S. dollars in revenue per year, the metropolitan areas remain hot for TITLE Boxing Club to continue its expansion in the identified markets of Las Vegas, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Long Island, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Houston, Atlanta, Denver, Austin and Chicago,” says Marty Mazer, TITLE Boxing Club’s Vice President of Franchise Development. “Metropolitan consumers are opting for more flexible, community-focused health and wellness options, and TITLE Boxing Club is dedicated to meeting the identified markets’ demand with its effective, interval-based workout programs – in turn, powering continued brand growth.”
The company recently signed an international agreement that will break the brand into the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. TITLE Boxing Club is also looking to grow in Mexico, Canada, Colombia, and Brazil as well. The interval-based workout program offered by TITLE combines bouts of intense cardio, boxing and kickboxing exercises on heavy bags, with short periods of active rest, followed by a core workout with medicine balls. The brand’s differentiator is in not only providing members with an effective workout, but giving them the knowledge and confidence that comes with understanding and master proper boxing technique.