Barry’s Takes On SoulCycle With New Indoor Cycling Studios

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LOS ANGELES, United States — Barry’s (formerly Barry’s Bootcamp), a pioneer of the high-intensity boutique model that’s come to dominate the fitness market, is launching a standalone indoor cycling concept to compete with the likes of SoulCycle.

Set to launch with two studios in the US this month — one in New York and one in Los Angeles, in close proximity to existing Barry’s studios — the diversified concept will open amid rumours of a slow down in sales for rival SoulCycle. Last week, Recode reported on data from Earnest Research, which revealed the cult brand had experienced its biggest year-on-year sales slump ever, during a four week period over December and January. 

SoulCycle was quick to dispute the figures, telling Recode the data was “completely false,” but the news quickly added fuel to the flames around a growing concern the indoor cycling market, saturated by an influx of studios and the rise of at-home alternative Peloton, is starting to feel the squeeze.

Speaking with CNBC earlier this week, Barry’s CEO Joey Gonzalez didn’t appear too worried. 

“One might think of the cycling world as being saturated. But Barry’s concept is different.“It’s basically the same ‘red room’ experience [as Barry’s], just instead of running, it’s cycling,” he argued.

And, according to the longstanding Barry’s executive, demand from the brand’s customers has been steadily rising, with members requesting diversification of its existing model to help prevent injuries linked to running, for the past few years.

However, the decision to expand into indoor cycling could also be seen as the latest in a string of strategic moves by the business, to diversify its model and open itself up to additional revenue streams.

Following the launch of both a stretching and mobility class and a weight lifting concept, late last year the company quietly changed its name to Barry’s, further reflecting its intention to shift gears as it limbers up for a possible sale.

The company has already interviewed advisers for a role on a potential sale, which could value Barry’s at around $700 million, according to Bloomberg. But with an additional cycling concept now part of its model, that value could rise.

There’s no doubt the Barry’s brand is a solid one, with a strong and loyal customer base that’s helped to grow the business into a 70 location operation across 14 countries, including the US, UK and Australia. But with such established players already dominating the indoor cycling category, will its existing gravitas be enough to make a significant dent on an already saturated market?

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