Stephens, an independent financial services and research company recently published a report called “The Rise of Boutique Studio Fitness Concepts”. Authored by Bryan O’Rourke, President of the Fitness Industry Technology Council. Here is an excerpt from his summary addressing boutique fitness studio growth:
“…..Consumers are seeking community-based fitness concepts that provide an outstanding fitness experience in a convenient and effective way. The rapid expansion of these concepts, their business models, and the related attraction of interest from the investment community all underscore the sustainability and relevance of the boutique studio trend. This reinvention of fitness delivery not only creates tremendous opportunities for operators, it can do so for the canny investor too…..”
Boutique chains added new studios at a rate of 450 percent per year between 2010 and 2014, according to the fitness-focused investment firm Piper Jaffray. Piper Jaffray That makes them the fastest-growing part of the annual $22 billion U.S. health club industry, according to the investment bank.
Participation in boutiques doubled from 21 percent in 2013 to 42 percent in 2014, according to research from the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association.
Private equity money has been pouring into boutique fitness businesses as the quality and variety of workouts expands and as a rapidly growing number of fitness enthusiasts sustain a rapidly growing wellness market.
In May of 2017, private equity firm TPG Growth, known for investing in Uber Technologies Inc. and Airbnb Inc., took a stake in Club Pilates, the biggest chain of Pilates studios in the U.S., that now has close to 300 active studios. More recently, TPG has partnered with the first and largest indoor cycling studio franchise company, CycleBar. Founded in 2014, CycleBar began franchising three years ago and now has over 110 open studios, and plans another 200 that are in the pipeline nationally. Club Pilates and CycleBar are the first boutique chains forming the foundation of XPonential Fitness, more brands are imminent under the Xponential name.