The Skift Wellness newsletter is our weekly dispatch focused on what’s happening in wellness from a global business standpoint. Skift Wellness lives where wellness meets commerce, mindfulness meets technology, the yoga studio meets the boardroom, and health meets business.
Lululemon sells athleisure. Best Buy sells electronics. Barry’s Bootcamp sells fitness classes. All three companies have found success in their respective corners, but that doesn’t appear to be enough for their leaders.
Brands are increasingly exploring wellness opportunities outside of their typical wheelhouses. For example, Lululemon is branching into beauty with the launch of four “clean” products aimed to help workout buffs look their best — for example, a dry shampoo that removes the grease without leaving a chalky residue in your hair.
Meanwhile Best Buy wants to try its hand at wellness by introducing at-home fitness tech equipment. “We’ve promised our customers we’ll help enrich their lives, including their health and wellness, by using technology. This is a great example of how we’re living up to that commitment,” Jason Bonfig, Best Buy’s chief merchandising officer, said in a statement. Considering the popularity of Peloton and Mirror, it’s a wise category to jump into.
Finally, Barry’s Bootcamp is opening a new studio in Paris, so it makes sense it would also launch a new fashion-forward athleisure collection sold exclusively at the outpost. Even though Barry’s won’t make money off the sales (earnings go to French charity Le Refuge), the buzz will likely be payoff enough for the company.
These extensions show how brands want to avoid being constrained into a narrow definition of the word “wellness.” Still, whether these ventures make financial sense is up for debate.
— Leslie Barrie, Wellness Editor
Beauty & Spa
Lululemon Launches New Workout-Inspired Skincare Line: It’s not always easy to feel refreshed after a workout — your hair is greasy, your skin inflamed, and your lips are likely chapped. So Lululemon is branching out into skincare with a dry shampoo, moisturizer, deodorant, and chapstick that address these major beauty pain points among the fitness set. The apparel company apparently spent years figuring out which products would resonate. We’ll see if the research paid off. Read more here.
Best Buy to Sell Big Wellness Brands Like Flywheel and Hydrow: When you think about the products Best Buy offers, your brain probably goes to flatscreen TVs and laptops. But high-end fitness machines? Not so much. However, by the end of the year, the electronics company will be selling Flywheel spin bikes, Hydrow rowing machines, and other at-home workout equipment. It’s a move that shows that Best Buy wants to capitalize on the intersection between fitness and technology. Read more here.
Barry’s Bootcamp Opens in France, Putting Fashion at the Forefront: To coincide with the opening of the first Barry’s Bootcamp in Paris, the fitness company is launching a new limited-edition athleisure line by Olivier Rousteing, the creative director of the French fashion house Balmain. When in Paris, right? It’s a smart move as more boutique fitness companies like SoulCycle think outside the exercise box and launch exclusive apparel lines to build brand awareness. Read more here.
Why Boutique Fitness Studios May Save Malls: The downfall of malls may happen later than you might think, thanks to fitness studio companies popping up in retail spaces. This cluster effect at shopping malls might seem counterintuitive. Why would you want to put your boutique studio right by the competition? But customers often want variation, as well as the option to choose classes based on their mood — a habit that likely makes mall owners very happy. Read more here.
Sweaty Betty Looks to Stretch Into Asia: Sales have been climbing steadily for the high-end, Britain-based fitness apparel brand. In the first quarter, the company sold one pair of leggings every minute. Now Sweaty Betty is looking to expand into Asia to keep sales steadily moving in the right direction. The company’s growth plan was cooked up by new CEO Julia Straus, who landed the top job earlier this month. We’ll see if her new strategy pays off. Read more here.
Co-Working Space for Wellness Professionals Lands $8 Million in Funding: Alma is a WeWork-style co-working space specifically designed for psychiatrists and social workers, along with other wellness professionals like acupuncturists. It already has one location in New York City and just scored $8 million in funding to kickstart expansion. The company aims to make it less expensive for wellness business owners to run their companies. Time will tell if Alma can really deliver — or if it’s just hype. Read more here.
Food & Drink
Beyond Meat Shares Dip After Competitor Scores a Win at Whole Foods: Even though Beyond Meat shares soared after its initial public offering in May, the company is now seeing losses. On Monday shares tumbled 10 percent after it was announced that U.S. Whole Foods locations will be selling burgers from Beyond Meat’s UK competitor, The Meatless Farm. It’s one of the many plant-based competitors for Beyond Meat — and the increasingly crowded field may continue to weigh on the company’s stock price. Read more here.
Skift Wellness Editor Leslie Barrie [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the Skift Wellness newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.