Boutique Studio Benefits in Big Box Gyms
For big box gym owners looking for turn-key ways to keep up with ever-changing fitness trends, create new revenue streams and foster an authentic community within their facility, the Studio-In-Club model has become a great option. The competition among big box gyms to attract members has become so fierce that many owners are opening specialty studios inside their gyms to compete and/or differentiate themselves from the growing number of independent and franchise-owned fitness clubs and boutique studios.
Maximize Revenue Per Square Foot
As consumers seek more specialized offerings and expert instruction, the opportunity to repurpose under-utilized space by creating a boutique Studio-In-Club business is a popular trend. Typically, members receive a discount to these in-club studios and non-members are drawn into gyms they might otherwise ignore. The idea is to blend the boutique studio allure, uniqueness and expert instruction with the foot traffic and existing infrastructure of a larger facility to significantly increase revenue per square foot.
Capture a Previously Untapped Audience
Many times, the Studio-In-Club can become lead generators. By utilizing a separate marketing platform and digital strategy and tapping into different marketing channels, the Studio-In-Club can appeal to a different customer base while broadening the product offering for the gym. It’s also a fantastic stepping stone for anyone intimidated by the larger open format of the mainstream gym setting. By creating a more private and intimate experience, the Studio-In-Club provides the confidence boost many people need before entering or joining a gym.
More Boutique Offerings, More Advantages
Another advantage of the Studio-In-Club model is the potential “shared space” within the overall gym. Boutique studios tend to be smaller and lack variety. Areas such as childcare, locker rooms, juice bar and spa services are not typically found in boutique studios. This provides a competitive advantage for the Studio-In-Club model especially those that can provide childcare services.
Other benefits of the Studio-In-Club model are:
- Increased referrals
- Increased non-member revenues
- Increased social media engagement
- Creates an intimate and private setting providing higher focus on customer engagement
According to IHRSA, about 42 percent of members of health and fitness facilities in the U.S. frequent fitness studios or boutiques. Studios from yoga to boxing, Pilates to body shaping, barre to stationary cycling, and youth sports training to weight loss have emerged in recent years. The Studio-In-Club model has become an effective way to expand gym brands, grow market share and compete in the ever-changing health club space. The “shop-in-shop” model has been used in retail for years, so it was only a matter of time before the health club industry adopted the concept.
Jeff Stokes is the vice president of HYPOXI North America, a boutique fitness franchise offering both standalone and Studio-In-Club models. Stokes has been a club owner, director, operator, consultant and franchisee with many of the top health club brands in the U.S., Europe and Australia. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.