Talking about adaptability and ever-changing business conditions, there is one trend to watch: the way in which the “at-home” fitness revolution is about to squeeze traditional gyms and even upmarket studios. One warning signal: Last year, SoulCycle (upmarket: It charges more than $20 per hour) withdrew its application to launch an IPO, citing market conditions. It hasn’t reinstated it yet, despite many wellness businesses successfully going public (for example, Beyond Meat).
Another sign: Town Sports International (which has been in business since 1973, operates about 200 gyms, and has more than 600,000 members) just warned of “negative membership trends.” Peloton seems to be getting it right with its offering of buying or leasing a bike and then doing the class in your own home via a video connection (meaning a trainer can reach thousands of customers at once). At the end of last year, it had $700 million in revenues and a valuation of more than $4 billion. My personal prediction: This is where the “real” fitness money is going to be made: at home. As companies such as Tonal and Mirror put it: “The future of fitness is at your place.”