LONDON, United Kingdom –– The CEO of ukactive; a not for profit association working towards getting more people physical, has called on boutique fitness operators to build on their rapid growth, in order to reach out to new demographics – particularly among those who are traditionally inactive.
Speaking at the Welltodo Summit last month, Steven Ward noted that boutique fitness is a ‘business model in evolution’, adding: “Boutique operators are perfectly placed to provide evidence-based fitness programmes to those reluctant or unable to engage in physical activity, given their quality staff and pricing models.”
The Welltodo Summit; a groundbreaking event bringing together over 300 business leaders, industry experts, investors and founders of the world’s leading wellness brands, for a powerful conversation about the business of wellness, included panels covering subjects including how technology will impact the future of wellness, the importance of workplace wellness & culture and key insights from the US and Asia markets.
Sitting alongside Ward, other panellists including WellSpoken Founder Sarah Greenidge, an expert on evidence-based wellness content, and Rahil Vora, CEO of independent health store chain Revital, discussed the importance of changing the perspective of the wellness industry through credibility.
Commenting on the event, Ward explained: “It was great to be a panellist at the Welltodo Summit and to meet some of those behind driving the wellness industry forward.
“Boutique fitness is booming but it’s important that this growth remains sustainable. The big opportunity for boutiques here is if they can work alongside health organisations, insurance companies and others to provide outcome-based fitness to consumers.”
During the panel discussion, Ward noted the importance of collaboration for boutique operators, which he described as a ‘core part of the sector’ – touching on some of the learning points from ukactive’s own boutique fitness event, SWEAT, which was held in March.
According to Ward, in the current market fitness studios are well placed to benefit from partnerships with other sectors – such as nutrition, health and sportswear brands that are keen to build on the strong customer loyalties inspired by boutique fitness concepts.
Ward also issued a warning to boutiques, stating that they wouldn’t be spared stinging fines or even criminal punishment for failing to adhere to recognised industry standards or regulatory requirements.
He said: “Calling yourself a boutique does not exempt you from complying with basic health and safety requirements and the types of standards that have been built up over the past 25 years in the fitness industry. New market entrants need to be mindful of that.”
To watch a recording of the full session or any of the other panels from the Summit, click here.