In an exciting series of market profiles, we’ve partnered with ClassPass to bring you insights into the trends, pain points and characteristics of some of the world’s most active boutique fitness markets.
Exploring everything from the top workouts to the most popular times to work out, in this edition, ClassPass takes a look at one of the most active cities in the US: San Francisco.
Covering both the downtown area as well as San Francisco’s surrounding neighbourhoods such as the East Bay and South Bay, here are some of the top trends ClassPass is noticing in the market right now.
At a Glance: San Francisco
TOP WORKOUT GENRES
San Francisco’s fitness market has remained relatively consistent over the past couple of years, with these three genres — strength training, Pilates, and yoga — trending as the most popular among ClassPass users.
Strength training classes, in particular, make up nearly half of all ClassPass reservations in San Francisco. Popular strength training studios include TRX Training Center and Barry’s Bootcamp, while Megaformer classes, such as BodyRok and CORE40, have become increasingly popular as well, fueled by the prevalence of more athletic Pilates-style workouts.
These three neighbourhoods have always been the most popular since ClassPass launched in San Francisco, however, SOMA in particular has seen growth in the past year. The proportion of reservations in that neighborhood has grown by 14% compared to the same time last year, giving SOMA the edge over Marina as the number one spot for ClassPassers to work out. As such, the share of reservations in the Marina and Mission neighbourhoods have dipped slightly, at about 6% and 7%, respectively, since last year. The growth in SOMA may be due to the number of corporate companies setting up offices in the area.
TOP WORKOUT TIMES
The most popular workout times in San Francisco remain consistent throughout the year and don’t tend to vary by season. During the week, 6pm and 5pm classes are the most popular, while 9am is when users most prefer to work out on the weekend.
A City Dominated by Yoga Studios
Yoga classes are a favorite among ClassPassers in San Francisco. Yet with 275 venues offering yoga (out of 540 total studios on San Francisco ClassPass), business owners should note that the market is saturated. Although Yoga is popular, ranking in at #3 for top genres in the area and comprising about 20% of reservations, it’s quite competitive given the number of venues in the region. Yoga studio owners in the Bay Area — or those who are interested in expanding there — should explore ways to stand out in the crowded space.
One area where there’s still room to grow is heated yoga. Hot vinyasa options that tend to be more fast-paced and athletic in nature are in demand, yet there aren’t a ton of options in this style on ClassPass in San Francisco. Ritual Hot Yoga in SOMA and Karma Yoga in the Marina are two favorites among ClassPass users.
Studios Ready to Expand
Expansion is on the rise in San Francisco as more studio owners seek to open additional locations downtown or around the bay to appeal to commuters. High rent costs in San Francisco, unsurprisingly, remain a primary concern for business owners looking to expand, so many studios are interested in exploring the North, East, and South Bay areas. Like other densely-populated metro areas where traffic tends to be an issue, ClassPass users are willing to travel, on average, just 1.02 miles to attend a class. Even in suburban areas, most studios want locations close to BART or Caltrain stations to capture as many people as possible on their way to or from work downtown.
Tech-Driven Class Experience
With its proximity to Silicon Valley and bustling tech industry, San Francisco has a reputation for being ahead of the curve –– fitness studios and gyms in the area are no exception. Many ClassPass partners have found ways to incorporate technology into their classroom or studio experience, with mobile apps, iPads at check-in, and more. San Francisco studios set the bar for exceeding customer expectations of ease and efficiency in studio.
Community Wellness Events
One aspect of the San Francisco fitness scene that sets it apart from others in the industry is the number of local fitness events year-round. It’s not uncommon to find fitness communities, such as The November Project, popping up in parks or other public spaces.
Wellness events draw huge crowds and cover everything from races, massive fitness classes, live music, freebies from wellness brands, meditation sessions and more. Studio owners in the area should explore ways to get involved with local events when possible, as it’s a great way to connect and interact with customers, grow awareness for your brand, and build relationships with other like-minded businesses.