Back in 2015, the boutique spinning company SoulCycle was, literally, riding high. It had just filed for an IPO and had about three times as many customers as its main competitor, Peloton (a luxury, stationary bike company with streaming video classes).
Flash forward to 2018, and it's quite a different story. SoulCycle shelved its plans to go public earlier in the year, and a new report from data company Second Measure shows that Peloton has taken a slight edge over SoulCycle in terms of U.S. customer numbers.
Even though SoulCycle said the numbers are incomplete (although another report from data brand M Science offers similar results), it can't deny that it has a major threat on its hands.
Plus, it has an obvious disadvantage: Most locations are on the coasts. And while SoulCycle did open new studios in Las Vegas and Denver, it's hard to compete geographically with a brand like Peloton, which can reach customers virtually anywhere.
Peloton is making a big advertising push over the holidays, so we'll see if the gap continues to widen. Whatever happens, Peloton's rapid growth proves that at-home workouts are on the upswing.
Meanwhile, wearable brands like Motiv and Bellabeat are shifting away from strictly focusing on fitness. They see the fitness market as overly saturated and have turned away from targeting the traditional exercise enthusiast customer. Instead, they're looking to reach people who want to improve their overall well-being and have chosen to sell their devices in stores like Nordstrom and Selfridges rather than focusing on traditional sporting goods stores.
With other classic fitness tracker brands also looking to expand their well-being offerings, it's a sign that the quest for wellness will only continue in 2019.
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