Skift Take

SoulCycle is smart to try and cash in on the wellness retreat trend — and look for other ways to make money so it can keep up with Peloton. For that to happen, though, it’s going to need to garner a lot of interest.

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.

If SoulCycle wants to keep pace with Peloton, it has to get creative. There are only so many locations SoulCycle can open that will have enough customers willing to shell out over $30 per class.

Meanwhile, Peloton can easily reach customers who live in remote places — as long as they have Wi-Fi access — and it doesn’t have to pay studio rent to keep the business up and running.

So it makes sense that SoulCycle is launching Retreats by SoulCycle in 2020 as a way to earn extra revenue. On the one hand, it’s a smart way to cash in on the brand’s loyalty and recognition. Wellness retreats are on the rise, and if customers already know and love the brand, it’s a natural fit for them to book a trip.

On the other hand, after the recent Hamptons Trump fundraiser backlash, we expect some longtime fans to be less eager to associate with the brand. Yes, they still might enjoy the workouts, but they won’t want to pay to travel with the company.

We predict the retreats may attract customers that want to travel and are still loyal to the brand, but it won’t be enough to move the needle closer to Peloton.

In other wellness travel news, Dubai has become an unlikely destination for traveler well-being. Though it does have a number of healthy offerings — like surfing, beachside jogging paths, and more — it will take a lot of marketing effort to get travelers to notice.

For feedback or news tips, reach out via email at [email protected] or tweet me @lesliebarrie.

— Leslie Barrie, Wellness Editor


SoulCycle’s Move Into Retreats Will Test Loyalty of Its Spin Fanatics: Considering SoulCycle is a fitness company, it’s not outlandish to think it would want to get into the wellness retreat business. Whether it will actually earn enough of a profit from the trips to make it worth its while is another story. Read more here.

Could Dubai Become a Wellness Hub? Dubai, of course, has its fair share of luxury spas. But with a number of yoga and fitness studios, healthy eateries, and well-being resorts popping up, the city is upping its wellness game. These offerings may not make it a prime wellness destination just yet, but the right marketing could at least help put the city on the map for self-care. Read more here.


Investors Consider Selling Barry’s Bootcamp for a Steep Price: That a bootcamp-style fitness brand could be valued at $700 million surprised us too. North Castle Partners, the majority investor in Barry’s Bootcamp, is considering a sale of the company — perhaps to cash in on the booming studio fitness trend while the market remains hot. The sale will potentially happen early next year. Barry’s owners will likely hold their breath that boutique classes remain in-demand between now and then. Read more here.


CBD Is More Popular Than Ever, According to Search Volume: It’s telling that CBD would beat out search terms like Jesus, Taiwan Protests, and the World Series. More people are CBD-curious than ever before, which could translate into a great number of customers looking to buy calming oils and other cannabidiol-infused products. What’s the only search term to rival CBD? Pornhub. Read more here.


What the Fitbit Buy Means for the Wearable Industry: The sale happened: Google acquired Fitbit for $2.1 billion. If all goes well, Google can help bring Fitbit’s software on par with Apple and give Fitbit customers potential access to the Google Play app store, versus access to just a few hundred apps with Fitbit. Meanwhile, Google gets Fitbit’s brand recognition and health connections, which could set it up to at least compete somewhat with Apple. Read more here.

Skift Wellness Editor Leslie Barrie [[email protected]] curates the Skift Wellness newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.

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Tags: boutique fitness, cbd, fitness, Skift Wellness, wellness

Photo credit: Fitness company SoulCycle has announced a partnership with luxury travel company Black Tomato to offer wellness spin retreats. SoulCycle

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