Branded Merchandise Is Selling Big for SoulCycle and Other Trendy Fitness Brands
As athleisure continues its meteoric rise as the hottest thing going in apparel these days, fitness and yoga studios are taking full advantage of people’s desire to represent their healthy lifestyles through the clothes they wear, according to Moneyish.
Following in the footsteps of SoulCycle, which pioneered the move of fitness studio branding on a range of apparel options, other studios, gyms and classes are getting in on the game. Not only this, but they have found that they can make big money selling branded T-shirts, crop tops, yoga pants, sports bras, hats and more, often charging more per item than the price of a single class, or even a brief membership.
The practice has become so profitable, in fact, that some brands actually make upwards of 40 percent of their gross revenue on merchandise, all while boosting brand awareness. SoulCycle’s retail business sees 20 percent to 30 percent growth every year, and according to Racked, retail sales actually outperformed spin class sales, proving that SoulCycle has managed to cultivate its brand image to the point that it can boast a multifaceted brand identity as both fitness company and merchandise seller.
While this growth may seem spectacular, it’s not exactly an outlier as far as brand identity is concerned. Other fitness businesses that have followed the SoulCycle model have met similar success.
Brrrn, a Manhattan low-temperature strength training class, sells classes that start at $34 per guest, while also offering merchandise to students such as branded sweatshirts, beanies, fingerless gloves and sweatpants. Johnny Adamic, the brand’s cofounder, worked with clothing maker Alternative Apparel to design the pieces on sale in the studio at a price range between $40 to $60 a piece. According to Adamic, the brand’s goal is to make 10 percent to 20 percent of its gross sales on merchandise.
All of this shows that athleisure is not only here to stay, but also is a dependable business model on which brands that both promote and sell fitness can grow and thrive. Branded merchandise isn’t merely a means toward heightened brand awareness, but also a dependable and sizable source of revenue in its own right.
B Mvmt, a Manhattan-based hot yoga studio that sells sports bras, shorts and yoga pants price between $35 and $150, made 37 percent of its total gross revenue last year on apparel and branded merchandise sales. According to Bizzie Gold, the brand’s founder, many people who become members of the studio actually start out as fans of the merchandise.
“It’s been crazy how many people come off the street wanting to just buy the merch,” she told Moneyish. “People walk in drawn to the clothing, and then take a tour and don’t ever leave.”