From controversies and shock closures to groundbreaking launches and multi-million dollar investments, in 2019 we continued to track and report on the biggest news stories from the global wellness industry.
Here we revisit the 10 most popular stories published on Welltodo over the past year, including space-ready activewear, a SoulCycle backlash and the industry’s Brexit woes……….
The closure of London wellness club Grace Belgravia pointed to forthcoming Brexit woes
Following the shock closure of premium wellness club Grace Belgravia in London in February, fresh concerns were raised around the impact of Brexit on the wellness industry.
Reports of the exclusive women’s only £5,500-a-year health club being forced to cease operations due to what Co-Founder Kate Percival summed up in one word as “Brexit”, suggested the luxury club – whose members included Princess Eugenie, Pippa Middleton and Cara Delevingne – was driven to the decision because US investors and VIP members pulled out over the chaos triggered by Britain’s imminent departure from the EU. Read More
The global biohacking sector was booming as major investors backed the quest for immortality
Almost a year after an eye-opening report forecasted huge annual growth for the global biohacking market, we highlighted some of the innovative wellness startups backed by world-leading investors that were transforming a sector that was previously eyed with scorn and scepticism.
According to the report by Market Research Future, the “Global Biohacking Market” is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.42% between 2017 and 2023, driven by “rising awareness about biohacking, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, and extensive demand for smart devices and drugs across the globe”. Read More
Fitness membership platform ClassPass muscled in on the $1.1 trillion beauty market
Elsewhere, following a successful trial in the US, ClassPass started widening its wellness net to offer members massages, facials, cryotherapy, float spas, infrared saunas, acupuncture, and more.
Having ventured into the booming wellness tourism sector in August 2018, and acquiring Asia competitor GuavaPass, the wildly popular class booking platform took aim at the wellness industry’s biggest moneymaker: the $1.1 trillion-valued personal care, beauty and anti-aging market. Read More
Tony Robbins announced the launch of a fitness studio offering fitness trainers $1000 per hour to work there
In April, motivational speaker and entrepreneur Tony Robbins hit the headlines when he teamed up with musician Pitbull and founder of adult education company The Learning Annex, Bill Zanker, to launch a new boxing fitness chain, offering to pay superstar trainers $1000 per hour.
GRIT BXNG, a boutique fitness concept delivering high-intensity, group fitness classes, went on to open in New York in the summer, featuring curated playlists by Pitbull and motivational content from Robbins, on giant video screens inside the studio. Read More
The UK fitness industry reached £5bn in value, as the number of gyms continued to grow
In May, the UK fitness market reached an estimated £5bn in value, as the number of gym locations surpassed the 7,000 mark.
The figures, included in the 2018 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report, highlighted the market’s continued growth, driven by more operators and more members than ever before. According to the report, one in every seven Brits now has a gym membership. Read More
We asked if CBD was the next billion-dollar wellness sector?
As CBD continued to take centre stage on the global wellness scene, propelling the market at an unprecedented rate. We investigated what the future holds for businesses looking to cash in on one of the most hyped up, invested in and scrutinised wellness trends to emerge in the 21st century. Read More
Gymshark committed a $7M investment towards brand innovation and employee wellness
August saw UK-based fitness apparel brand Gymshark opening the doors to a new 55,000 sq ft gym and innovation hub, as further evidence of the company’s forward-thinking commitment to employee wellness.
In a video on his personal YouTube channel, founder Ben Francis showed off the facility’s two fitness studios, a vast state-of-the-art weights room and CrossFit rig, indoor running track and outdoor strongman yard, all made available for Gymshark’s 300-strong staff plus two guests each at their Birmingham HQ. Read More
SoulCycle & Equinox faced backlash over a Trump fundraiser
In the US, fitness brand’s SoulCycle and Equinox were forced to backpedal after being embroiled in controversy due to their billionaire Chairman’s links to US President Donald Trump.
When news hit of real estate mogul and private investor Stephen Ross, chairman of The Related Companies which owns Equinox Fitness and a 97% stake in SoulCycle, hosting a fundraiser that generated $13 million for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, it led to protests outside Equinox and SoulCycle studios and widespread outrage across social media. Read More
Diageo snapped up Seedlip as sales for alcohol alternatives soared
In the F&B sector, Diageo acquired a majority share in trendsetting non-alcoholic spirits brand Seedlip, as sales of non-alcoholic beer, wine and spirits hit a record high in the UK.
The drinks company, which previously owned 20% of Seedlip through its Distill Ventures division, which supports entrepreneurs as they develop and scale drinks brands, said it believed the startup was a game-changer, with significant growth potential. Read More
Under Armour unveiled athleisure for space
In October, Under Armour and Virgin Galactic unveiled a collection of athleisure-inspired apparel designed to be worn by astronauts.
Two years in the making, the collection, which received input from a wide variety of experts including doctors, astronaut trainers, pilots, apparel and footwear designers, engineers and Future Astronaut customers, is set to be worn by Virgin Galactic Mission Specialists onboard VSS Unity’s crewed test spaceflights, prior to commercial flights which are due to commence in 2020. Read More