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15 Nov 2023

Revealed: The latest on the state of the London boutique studio market from Leisure DB
BY Tom Walker

56 per cent of London's adult population now lives within one mile of a boutique studio

56 per cent of London's adult population now lives within one mile of a boutique studio
photo: Shutterstock.com/UfaBizPhoto

There are now more than 300 boutique fitness studios across London – an increase of 17.4 per cent when compared to 2018.

Figures from the London Boutique Studio Report 2023, published by insight outfit Leisure DB, also show that more than half (56 per cent) of London's adult population of 6.98m people now live within one mile of a boutique studio.

This is the first time Leisure DB has published this report since 2018 – after a hiatus due to the pandemic – and it offers an insight into the evolution of the boutique market, which has been severely impacted by the pandemic.

The report found a consolidation in the sector, as the top 10 operators now account for a third of all London boutique studios.

Troubled franchised chain, F45, remains London’s largest boutique operator by number of studios, with 44 in the London area.

The average unlimited monthly membership fee has increased by over 20 per cent since 2018, while the average cost of a 10-class pack has gone up by almost 15 per cent, although researchers also found anecdotal evidence that boutiques are regularly discounting on these rates.

Interviews with operators also found that boutiques are experiencing an increasing competitive threat from gyms that are adding boutique offerings, such as reformer Pilates, however, they are also likely to have diversified, with the single workout boutique becoming a thing of the past and most offering a balance of different workout modalities.

Classes have been growing in popularity and Leisure DB found there are 15 per cent more on offer than in 2018.

The pandemic has permanently changed the product offering for some, with over a quarter of boutiques still maintaining an online offering – live classes and/or on-demand – in addition to their in-person classes.

Leisure DB founder, David Minton, said: "In 2018, when Leisure DB published its first London Boutique Studio Report, it was easy to be seduced by the boutique lifestyle.

"Founded by individuals with ideas, passion and energy, the studios’ premium experiences, environments and emotions inspired loyal communities.

"2018 was the heyday for operators and consumers, as 62 studios opened in London that year – more than in New York. Globally, F45 – then the fastest-growing brand – opened 900+ sites that year.

"As we revisit London’s boutique sector in 2023 for the first time since 2018, we find an industry that’s finding its feet post-pandemic.

"In spite of some permanent closures and a few brands falling into administration or liquidation, many have emerged leaner, stronger and more nimble.

"Openings may be fewer than in the ‘peak boutique’ years, but closures are also slowing, as surviving brands stabilise and rebuild.

"Finances remain tight and new funding is hard to come by, but London’s operators retain the pioneering spirit, responding to changing consumer behaviours with creativity and passion," said Minton.

Read more about London Boutique Studio Report 2023 in the upcoming edition of HCM magazine, which will feature an in-depth article – click hereto sign up for your free digital copy.

You can purchase the report, at www.leisuredb.com/publications with the HCM discount code BOUTIQUEHCM15 for 15 per cent off (valid to 31 December 2023).



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