Creating a Boutique Experience in Your Fitness Center

By Aaron Eisberg

If you are a traditional fitness center business owner, you may be noticing a pinch in your profits as boutique studios crop up in your area. Statistics show that over 54 million Americans now pay for a boutique experience.

Perhaps even more troubling to fitness center business owners is the fact that, according to data compiled in IHRSA's Health Club Consumer Report, boutiques drive $2.45 billion in monthly subscription revenue versus $1.49 billion for traditional commercial fitness clubs.

Why Boutique Studios Have Become So Popular

Typically, boutique studios are smaller than a traditional fitness center, offer fewer amenities, and are more expensive overall. Why, then, are these studios so popular?

The answer lies in examining the experience such studios offer their patrons. Boutique fitness studios tend to offer highly specialized content. Generally, there is a signature core offering that defines each boutique studio. This level of specialization ensures that, if participants are looking for the particular type of class offered, they will be getting a great experience in that class. It is likely that instructors will be top-notch, and the equipment will be in good repair.

Additionally, because class sizes are often quite small, instructors can give each participant more personalized attention, something that appeals to almost everyone. Thus, workouts become more about pushing one's self to the limit rather than simply following the herd in a huge group fitness class.

Another advantage boutique studios offer is increased accountability. Because participants are generally required to sign up for a class in advance, it is more likely that they will not let distractions keep them away from their workout. This level of accountability differs from the monthly membership model favored by traditional gyms, in which members can pick and choose when and whether to go to the gym at any time.

How to Bring the Boutique Experience into Your Gym

While boutique studios do offer these benefits, there is nothing that stops you from borrowing some great ideas from boutiques and incorporating them in your own gym. provides these tips for giving your gym members a "boutique" experience:
  • Think about your core customer today, as well as your ideal future customer. Find members who fit those profiles and ask them what content and experiences they want from your gym.
  • Find your signature offering and promote it heavily.
  • Choose team members who will oversee your specialty classes carefully. Make sure those team members are enthused and invested in providing excellent, personalized experiences for class participants.
  • Build your brand by tying it in directly with your signature classes. Be the place to go for those looking for a specific type of class.
Fitness center business

Standing Out with the Right Equipment

You can also distinguish your brand from other fitness centers in the area by ensuring you have the right equipment onboard. Many boutique studios offer equipment such as heart rate monitors and displays with which class participants can compete against other participants or against their own personal bests.

AccuroFit club solutions provide you with the means to do the same in your gym. To see our club solutions at work, request a demo today!
Dynamic Heart Rate Training Display