Boutique Studios

Goals

To identify the demographics, psychographics, and trends related to the boutique fitness space for the purposes of informing a brand for market position and identity.

Early Findings

Preliminary research shows there is an abundance of information available on trends and psychographics for the boutique fitness space. Although demographics are less readily available, there is still some beneficial data avail

TRENDS

  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) hybrid workouts are on the rise and boutique fitness centers are positioned to take advantage of this trend because boutiques typically offer niche workouts, such as yoga, that can be paired with HIIT. An example of a hybrid is Core Power Yoga, which "roots an intense physical workout in the mindfulness of Yoga."
  • Boutique fitness owners should look to "fuse HIIT with another form of exercise to create a unique hybrid that [the] competition doesn’t offer."
  • Shorter classes are becoming trendy in the boutique fitness space because "people have less and less time from their busy schedules to give over to fitness."
  • In addition, numerous studies have been conducted that examine the benefits of shorter stints of exercise.
  • Boutique fitness centers should consider shortening workouts from an hour to 45 or even 30 minutes, especially if they are located in an area where many offices are located. This will allow workers to attend classes on their lunch hour.
  • This trend will also allow boutique fitness owners to offer more classes each day.
  • There has been a "rise in popularity of people spending their leisure time on wellness and fitness rather than hitting the pubs and clubs."
  • Corporations have responded by partnering with local fitness studios to "run classes exclusively for their employees."
  • Partnering with local businesses can increase attendance during hours that are normally slow during the day and boutique owners have the opportunity to convert employees to full members.
  • Other trends include functional fitness, group training, incorporating wearable technology, yoga, and bodyweight training.

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • Millennials and Gen Zers are driving the boutique fitness boom and 36% of millennials pay for a gym membership, which is "twice the percentage of older demographics."
  • In boutique fitness classes across New York, Los Angeles, London, and Mexico City, 77% of attendees were women and 23% were men.
  • When looking at the East Cost specifically, the split was 80% women and 20% men.
  • Boutique fitness consumers are overwhelmingly white, young, and thin.
  • The rise of boutique businesses such as fitness studios and juice bars is a "trend in keeping with larger demographic shifts" in cities. According to Daniel T. Lichter, a Cornell University sociology professor and demographer, "We’ve seen this return of the white-middle class, minority professionals, and professional immigrants," and this is the clientele boutiques cater to.
  • The average age of a studio exerciser is 30 years old.
  • The messaging of boutique fitness centers is often anti-diveristy: "You’re allowed in this space if you are white, slender, able-bodied and less than 45, cis-gender and heterosexual. And if you’re not, then you’re not welcome."
  • Boutique fitness studios are "most prevalent in major cities" and they tend to be in "top-tier neighborhoods" like Hollywood, Santa Monica (Los Angeles), Beacon Hill (Chicago), SoMa, and the Marina District (San Francisco).
  • Other urban areas where fitness boutiques are popular include "New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles; Houston, Dallas, and Austin; Orlando and Miami; Boulder and Denver."

PSYCHOGRAPHICS

  • Fitness boutiques have "adapted to the unique preferences of millennials and younger generations who sought more specialized experiences, a sense of community, and flexible participation."
  • Millennials do not want pushy salespeople or long, unbreakable contracts.
  • Participants in boutique fitness classes enjoy gamification of their workouts, which can be seen with the popularity of OrangeTheory, a company that made "the circuit workout competitive by broadcasting participants’ heart rates on flat screens."
  • Fitness boutiques fill the "pent-up demand for a highly specialized experience."
  • The class-based payment options offered by boutique fitness are popular because most users do not want to be tied to a contract. Class-based payments eliminated "the barrier of long-term commitment for new customers."
  • With the diverse boutique fitness options, customers often visit multiple venues as part of their weekly routines.
  • This has given rise to "ClassPass," which allows customers to take advantage of different workouts at different boutique fitness centers without paying high fees.
  • Spending on experiences is up, whereas spending on material items like clothing and shoes is down. Fitness classes fit into the experience label, and younger customers are allocating "a growing share of their monthly budget to fitness."
  • Boutiques cater to people who exercise "to the point that it feels like it’s going to kill them."
  • The sense of belonging is what many boutique fitness centers market because "people want to be around others who are like them. That’s almost universal."
  • Fitness studio students "want to feel safe, and they want to feel supported."
  • In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address your goals.

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