lululemon studio just launched—here’s what to know

WGoing to the Lululemon Studio press preview last week in Lower Manhattan felt like a class reunion. But instead of making awkward small talk with former classmates I hadn’t seen since graduation, I had the chance to reconnect (and sweat) with some of the best boutique fitness studios and trainers in the country for the first time since the pandemic began. My endorphins already feel elevated—and before I begin back-to-back workouts with top trainers from AARMY, DOGPOUND, Rumble, Y7 Studio, and FORWARD__Space, five of Lululemon’s eight independent studios have partnered to stream exclusive content. . New online fitness platform. (Pure Barre, AKT, and YogaSix are among the bunch.)

Members can access classes from every brand as well as hundreds of workouts from Lululemon Studio instructors through the new Lululemon Studio app (which launched today). They can be streamed via your phone, tablet or mirror, the at-home workout device Lululemon acquired in 2020. Membership ($39 per month) gives you 20 percent off private classes at any of eight partner studios—and 10 percent off any Lululemon purchase.

The best of both worlds

Having spent the better part of the last decade immersed in New York City’s boutique fitness scene, both personally and professionally, I can say I’ve never seen or felt a model like this—which, according to Nikki Newberger, is exactly the point. , Lululemon’s Chief Brand Officer.

“The Lululemon Studio is what bridges the gap between the existing and the fitness experience [people] want,” she says. “We know people are returning to the gym and attendance is up 10 percent today compared to pre-pandemic levels, while at the same time, 60 percent of these fitness enthusiasts want a digital or at-home option because it’s convenient and an integral part of their daily lives. has become.” As a result, the portion of the fitness industry devoted to hybrid fitness (businesses that offer both online and IRL options) is expected to nearly double to $1.2 trillion by 2025, according to the Global Wellness Institute.

Given all this, in many ways, Lululemon seems to be the future of studio fitness, as its tagline says, or at the very least, the future of hybridized boutique fitness. “What we know today is that the home fitness landscape has changed quite dramatically over the past 12 months as consumer needs have shifted,” Neuberger said. “We listened to what our guests wanted and saw how COVID reshaped everyday fitness routines and preferences to create a platform that expands choice and offers the hybrid experience they want – from the comfort and convenience of at-home workouts. Reconnect in person. Online access to the excitement of doing.” And users not only get both online and discounted IRL classes, but they have access to multiple boutique brands all under one membership.

Expanding the Boutique Fitness Scene

For Lululemon Studio members not based in New York City, the platform could be the first time they’ve experienced workouts from some of the boutique gyms that partner with the app. “Joining forces with Lululemon Studios allows for two immediate things to happen,” said Christine Sudeikis, founder of FORWARD__Space. “First: it allows FORWARD__Space to be home to countless new people. And two: members everywhere get to experience Lululemon Studio’s advanced technology.”

Honestly, the same can be said for all brand partners. Each of the eight indie studios featured in the app launched some digital version of their offerings before the pandemic. I have tried many of them and they are great, but the quality of the materials produced by Lululemon Studio for each brand is next level. Each studio has its own channel within the app and was able to work with Lululemon to ensure the look and feel of the visuals on screen, as well as their music, felt consistent with their unique brand identity.

For example, in person, the FORWARD__Space studio in New York City is a dark box surrounded by neon lights that feels like a nightclub, and that energy is also replicated in the app. Meanwhile, AARMY chose to shoot her workouts on location at her home studio. For its videos, you’ll see founder and head trainer Akin Ackman standing in front of a wall of mirrors surrounded by a group of fitness buddies in arms.

Partnering with Lululemon is an added benefit for indie studios: Being able to see where their communities are growing organically around the world is providing insight into markets where launching brick-and-mortar locations makes sense. Sudeikis says response to FORWARD__Space’s own streaming platform from digital subscribers is already considering openings in Chicago and London.

With its global audience, Lululemon can help small studios like hers connect with more communities in deeper, more meaningful ways. “The landscape of how we relate to each other continues to evolve rapidly,” Sudeikis said. “Learning how we can connect more, move and dance together will always be an exciting door to unlock FORWARD__Space.” And the new model lululemon studio pioneers may just be the original.

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