boutique fitnessCurrently, the hottest trend in the fitness industry is the growth of boutique fitness. It seems everywhere you go now you see another boutique facility popping up, much more than big-box gyms. In fact, according to the 2015 Health Club Consumer Report from IHRSA, boutique fitness centers had $2.45 billion in monthly subscription revenue as opposed to $1.49 billion for “traditional” fitness facilities.

What is Boutique Fitness?

A boutique fitness facility is a small facility, generally 1,000 to 3,500 sq. ft. in size. Boutiques generally focus on one or two aspects of fitness, such as yoga or group cycling. While many facilities are stand-alone, there is also a trend of placing boutique centers within large, existing health clubs. Boutique facilities charge a premium price, with classes usually charging around $25 per class, with monthly subscriptions of around $150 and up. Some of the more popular names in boutique fitness include Orange Theory, Barry’s Boot Camp and Soul Cycle, just to name a few. Even the wildly popular outdoor racing brand Tough Mudder has announced they are opening Tough Mudder boutique studios in 2017.

Why are Boutique Fitness Centers so Popular?

There are several factors that contribute to the rise in popularity of boutique fitness. One of the main factors is the experience. Boutique facilities provide a unique, more personalized experience that don’t try to be all things to all people. This is a big draw for millennials, who seek more uniqueness and variety than other generations of consumers. Another factor for the rise in popularity is the connectedness. Much like the draw for Crossfit, many fitness goers seek to be a part of a group, to be connected to others which the setting of a boutique facility provides. Yet another factor in the popularity of boutique centers is the attraction of women, as more women are drawn to boutique fitness centers. Big-box gyms are larger and have a more intimidating atmosphere than smaller boutique clubs. Plus, boutique centers have instructors that lead you through a great workout every class, which many women prefer as opposed to designing your own workout.

A Trend that Will Continue

Most signs show that boutique fitness facilities are a trend that will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. However, some questions remain. Will consumers continue to pay premium prices for these boutique facilities? And will the rise in popularity lead to an oversaturation in the marketplace? Only time will tell, but for now, boutique fitness facilities are all the rage!