In search of community and holistic wellness, consumers are heading back to the gym.
The latest: According to Equinox CEO Harvey Spevak, the luxury gym chain’s pandemic recovery is nearly complete.
- Club memberships sales reached record levels six out of the last seven months.
- In September, monthly membership sales hit an all-time high ahead of opening its first new location in over a year.
- Equinox will have recovered 90% of its pre-pandemic members by year’s end.
What’s trending: In-person fitness is rebounding. But, the recovery is uneven — according to Mindbody, only 35% of fitness businesses are back to pre-pandemic sales levels.
Key insights: Addressing at-home fitness, Spevak took a shot at competitors:
“I think the Peloton trend speaks for itself right now… people crave community.”
When asked about looming economic uncertainty, Spevak said the business posted record profits during the Great Recession in 2008, and he expects Equinox to perform well in a downturn.
Even after raising dues to counter a higher cost of doing business—wages for talent retention, new programming, etc.—Spevak said there has been “no resistance,” adding:
“People want to be in-person. People want a unique experience, and they’re willing to pay for it.”
And, catering to the growing demand for wellness services, Spevak said Equinox is already focusing on optimization and longevity:
“What you’re going to see from us and others is how [we] help people live with the extremes. It’s not about moderation. It’s about sleep. It’s about ‘how do I have more energy? More clarity?”
Takeaway: When it comes to fitness and wellness, consumers have never had more options. So, for many brands, convincing people to show up IRL is purely a matter of providing an experience they truly can’t get anywhere else.