SYDNEY, Australia — A first-of-its-kind virtual health club concept has opened its doors in Sydney, Australia, targeting women aged 50 plus, as older consumers continue to redefine what it means to age well.
Backed by fitness technology company Wexer, whose mission is to make world-class exercise accessible to more people through the use of technology, Club W is positioning itself as a virtual fitness innovator and lifestyle space. The 400 sq m club targets what Founder and fitness entrepreneur Tony de Leede calls the “forgotten generation” – older women who have never really engaged with gyms and fitness in the traditional sense.
According to a recent report by The Hartman Group, this new ageing consumer, with an underlying interest in wellness, is shifting its approach to healthy living and requires a holistic point of view.
“They want their purchase to count: to satisfy mental, emotional and even spiritual needs. They are willing to be adventurous and experiment,” which Club W is catering to.
“Club W is a modern space where women can recharge, restore, connect with others and immerse themselves in wellness,” commented de Leede. “I refer to it as a second home – a home that’s based on community and activity, and where you feel comfortable and safe.”
Based around a wellness lounge area, where members can relax and socialise, the A$650k club also features four virtual studios offering classes covering nine distinct categories – Yoga, Pilates, Barre, Stretch, Strength, Dance, Fight, Cardio and Meditation.
All classes are delivered digitally exclusively through the Wexer platform, with the timetable featuring over 200 classes a day. However, employed hosts and volunteer ‘club ambassadors’ will be on the ground to make members feel welcome, comfortable and to buddy them in activities within the club.
De Leede is confident that virtual classes are appropriate for, and indeed appealing to, the older Club W target market. “The Baby Boomer generation has already embraced social media platforms and so on – they aren’t afraid of tech,” he argued.
“Also, anyone visiting our club quickly sees the benefits of the classes being virtual: it’s this that guarantees so much choice. The sheer size of our timetable means you’re guaranteed to find something that interests you within minutes of arriving at the club.”
In addition to the four virtual studios, Club W also features an ‘active education’ room – a small gym space kitted out with treadmills and recumbent bikes, where four large screens at the front of the room allow members to access pre-set exercise classes and educational programmes. Members will also have access to a massage room, plus three consultation pods where local lifestyle businesses – offering services ranging from nutrition to naturopathy, life coaching to manicures – can come in and offer complimentary 20-minute appointments.
According to de Leede, Club W creates a space that offers not only movement but also community. It isn’t about being fit. It’s about living longer, well, he concludes.