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Boutique Fitness Brands Are Going Strong But a Recession Could Be Their Weak Spot

Specialized studios such as Barry’s Bootcamp, SoulCycle, Orangetheory and others are more popular than ever, but analysts think boutiques could be hit hardest in a poor economy given their premium prices.

According to CNBC, people are spending more than ever on fitness. The industry is reportedly raking in just over $32 billion in profits according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, and it shows. You practically can’t scroll Instagram without seeing someone with perfectly sculpted arms executing reps with ease, or doing a complicated yoga inversion in hundreds of dollars of Lululemons. 

Observers may also notice that many influencers and fitness enthusiasts frequently have alliances with boutique fitness franchise brands, from Barry’s Boot Camp to Orangetheory. Beyonce herself even famously touted SoulCycle as the key to her post-baby weight, pre-Coachella fitness regimen. 

As the fastest growing sector in fitness, many boutique studios have transcended being just another workout and develop a cult-like following for their small, personalized sessions and lively social communities. CNBC reported that boutique brand growth has gone up 121% in four years, compared to 18% growth for big gyms. 

However, the personalized and convenient workouts consumers get from boutique fitness brands typically come at a premium price. Kristen Geil, editor-in-chief of ASweatLife, a health and wellness media company, told CNBC that these brands could be seriously sweating in the wake of a recession. 

“Consumers are going to be dropping that from their budget. It’s the easiest thing to cut, but gyms will try to up their experience to make people stay with the trainers they know and love,” said Geil to CNBC. 

Read the full CNBC story here.