- Rowing-based boutique studio Rowbots, co-founded by footballer Gareth Bale, has opened a new site in London
- Move follows exponential month-on-month growth in both revenue and users since the company opened its doors in July 2019, according to CEO
- In June, strength and conditioning franchise UN1T is set to open a new studio in London’s Holborn, while United Fitness Brands-owned Boom Cycle, KOBOX and Barrecore are reportedly set for expansion
LONDON, United Kingdom — Rowbots, a rowing-based boutique fitness brand co-founded by footballer Gareth Bale, opened its second studio in London this week, in one of the first new studio openings since fitness supergroup United Fitness Brands (UFB) acquired Barrecore in April.
The move follows the success of the company’s original site in London’s Fitzrovia, which opened in 2019, and the launch of its digital platform Rowbots@Home.
The new studio, which will occupy a 2,700 sq ft ground floor site in London’s Broadgate Quarter, EC2, will provide double the room and class occupancy, with expanded changing facilities, luxury beauty products selected by Curate Beauty and a new Reboot Bar, offering signature shakes, food and coffee in partnership with Noxy Brothers.
Exponential month-on-month growth
The decision to expand into the capital’s business quarter could be considered a risky one by some, with many offices suggesting they will allow staff to work from home until at least the end of 2021.
However, Rowbots CEO and Co-Founder Sam Green said the company has seen “exponential month-on-month growth both in revenue and users” since opening its doors in July 2019. And he is bullish about plans to open more locations in London and overseas, before long.
“Despite being relatively new on the scene, we are so proud with how we have grown and developed our brand and ethos, especially in the face of coronavirus,” Green told Welltodo. He added that Rowbots achieved its first-year annual targets in less than eight months, just before the pandemic hit.
This success, he said, enabled the brand to unlock its second London studio in the Broadgate Quarter development. And he believes Rowbots’ collaborative, science-backed approach to group exercise sets the brand apart from the boutique studio competition.
“We have successfully positioned ourselves as an innovator and leader in the industry and are the first and only fitness brand to lead with and scientifically incorporate evidence-based psychology processes and techniques in our classes, both online and in-studio,” Green explained.
He continued: “We do this by primarily categorising our classes around our unique psychological themes, and by working closely and collaboratively with an expert team and advisory board of psychologists, psychotherapists, life coaches, elite sportspeople and meditation experts, including the world-renowned Dan Abrahams.”
Celebrity endorsements and brand collaborations
Rowbots’ 50-minute workouts are centred around the rowing machine, providing a full-body, low impact workout, and come with high-profile celebrity endorsement from Wales and Tottenham Hotspur footballer and Co-Founder Gareth Bale.
“I turn to Rowbots workouts during the off-season to get fit and prepared for the next year […] and the launch of Rowbots City is extremely exciting for myself and the team,” Bale said of the launch.
“Together with a fantastic team of experts, we have created and programmed the most effective, empowering and rewarding workout. We have ambitious plans for the brand’s expansion, with much more to come over the coming years,” he added.
Along with Bale, Rowbots has signed exclusive partnerships with both fitness company WaterRower and British Rowing, who officially endorse the brand’s workouts. These collaborations, Green said, will be crucial for the company’s future growth.
“WaterRower, having been so impressed by our quickness to respond and pivot to digital during the first lockdown, invested in us and we are working closely with them to develop some exciting projects which we will announce soon,” he said.
Adding: “We are very ambitious, with plans to open more locations in London, before turning attention to international expansion.”
In April, UFB added Barrecore’s 12 studios to its portfolio of over 20 sites, including founding studios Boom Cycle and KOBOX, with all three brands set for immediate expansion upon COVID-19 restrictions lifting.
Elsewhere, ‘king of gyms’ 1Rebel has just opened the doors to its eighth London site, while strength and conditioning studio UN1T is set to open its second London site in Holborn suggesting the rapid growth of the boutique fitness sector is starting to pick up again following the pandemic and Rowbots are set for increased competition.
For Green, however, he said these moves can only be a good thing for the sector – and consumer. “It’s an exciting time for the fitness industry as a whole. To bring a better quality product to all the members using the various boutique fitness offerings can only be a positive thing.”
Geen continued: “I think we will see more of this post-COVID as smaller independent studios start to realise the cost benefits of department centralisation, the sharing of core competencies and the many benefits of being part of a wider group.”