LONDON, United Kingdom — Following the lead of Barry’s Bootcamp and Third Space, Sweat by BXR, London’s boutique pay-to-train concept inspired by heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua, is due to open a new studio in Canary Wharf this month.
The location has been identified to capitalise on the long-anticipated launch of Crossrail in 2020 and marks the start of ambitious expansion plans by the company, with several new sites earmarked to open over the next two to four years.
It will be the company’s second London location following its high-end flagship Marylebone studio which opened in 2017 and the first standalone site for its pay-to-train group exercise concept Sweat by BXR.
Crossrail Delays Scupper Psycle Studio
Despite the influx of new fitness concepts to the East London location, including the opening of The Yard in Third Space and Barry’s Bootcamp’s recent arrival, unexpected delays to Crossrail and unfulfilled footfall to the area was blamed by spin studio Psycle for the closure of its Canary Wharf site last June.
Crossrail construction began in 2009 and had been due to open in December 2018. In April, the BBC reported the opening could be delayed to as late as the spring of 2021.
BXR founder Olia Sardarova admits it has been a difficult time for brands in the area and is aware Brexit uncertainty could impact consumer spending on health and wellness, yet believes the time is now right to capitalise on Crossrail.
Speaking exclusively to Welltodo, Sardarova said: “It’s been a turbulent time for brands in Canary Wharf following the continued delay of Crossrail, however we feel we are arriving at the perfect time.
“Over the past five years, the Crossrail station has become a destination in itself, with fantastic restaurants, bars, an Everyman Cinema and now Barry’s Bootcamp, which is a strong pull to the area.
“We know our product and are confident that it is suited to the local Canary Wharf demographic, made up of highly competitive, driven people who will be drawn to our results-driven concept.”
Londoners Hungry For Health and Fitness
Speaking more broadly on the health of London’s wellness scene and increasing competition from international brands, Sweat by BXR managing director Alex Nicholl believes there has never been more of an appetite for health and fitness in the capital and that BXR is perfectly positioned to deliver what consumers are looking for.
“As the wellness clientele becomes more educated they are looking for brands which deliver quality products, both in terms of the workout programming, facilities, trainers and amenities,” Nicholl said.
“This is where Sweat by BXR delivers. Our workouts are created in collaboration with elite coaches, osteopaths and physios to create the most complete, low impact workouts in London. We place a major focus on form and technique thanks to our boutique-sized classes and believe this enables our members to achieve their personal goals.”
On competition from international wellness brands such as Equinox and the recent arrival of SoulCycle, Nicholl continued: “So far we haven’t felt much impact from the American brands. The UK market is very different and the success of those brands in the States isn’t necessarily easily transferable.
“However, we do acknowledge the risks that come from their endless budgets and spend allocated to penetrating the European market. I believe in the UK people really look for value and a challenging workout backed by science, knowing they are undertaking the best workout programme for their personal goals.”
Fundraising Round Set For 2020
Sardarova revealed BXR will be undertaking fundraising through private investors and venture capital in early 2020 to finance confirmed expansion plans.
“We are looking to expand the group company BXR Holdings via both the Sweat by BXR and BXR brands in London and internationally,” Sardarova added. “However, we are currently focusing on London for the Sweat by BXR expansion, with up to four Sweat by BXR locations planned over the next three years across the capital.”
The Sweat by BXR Canary Wharf studio is due to open on Monday 16 September, including two studios featuring signature Sweat classes Climb To The Beat and SweatBOX, with a new class planned for early 2020.
The new site will include luxury changing facilities, a fuel bar and see the introduction of laundry service Sweat Maid, which provides clean kit for members on site within 24 hours.
“We look forward to continuing to refine our offering during the launch phase, including the introduction of new class concepts due early next year,” Sardarova said. “Once Crossrail opens in 2020, we will be in a prime position to increase our class timetable and become the leading pay-to-train concept in Canary Wharf.”