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Club Studio: LA Fitness Parent Brand Debuts New Upscale Fitness Concept

Caroline Wu
Jun 9, 2023
Club Studio: LA Fitness Parent Brand Debuts New Upscale Fitness Concept

A new, more luxurious concept has been added to Irvine-based Fitness International’s portfolio.  Called Club Studio, it complements their coterie of other gym brands such as LA Fitness, Esporta Fitness, and City Sports Club.  The new concept, with an inaugural location in Irvine, CA boasts five innovative boutique fitness studios, including Strength, Box, Ride, Hot Yoga, and Pilates classes.  With wellness being one of the hot trends of 2023, the club also offers luxury amenities like cryotherapy and recovery chambers.

We compared the Club Studio in Irvine to a long-standing LA Fitness in Irvine to see how the demos and behavior compare.  Both are approximately the same size, at roughly 40,000 sq ft.  However, the LA Fitness receives about twice the number of visits and visitors as the Club Studio.  The Club Studio members tend to have a higher median HHI, at $130K vs $107K for LA Fitness.  They also tend to have more education, with two-thirds of Club Studio members holding a BA or higher vs half of LA Fitness’ membership.

Club Studio members must work up a hearty appetite, because besides home and work, their most popular post-workout places to visit include Gelson’s, Square One Pizza, and I Can Barbecue Korean Grill. LA Fitness members prefer to follow their workout with Costco, In-n-Out Burger, or Ralphs.

Perhaps one of the most dramatic differences we see between the two membership bases is the time of day in which they’re working out.  Club Studio members tend to work out on the earlier side, with about a third of workouts taking place at 9am or 10am.  LA Fitness members have a more spread-out preference between 9am -8pm, with a higher percentage of visits peaking around 4pm.

While YoY variance is not available for Club Studio since it just opened in Dec 2022, it appears that the LA Fitness traffic has definitely increased over last year.  There is of course an early January New Year’s resolution pop, but the ensuing months have shown that fitness reigns in Southern California.

Some interesting differences arise when we look at the composition of segments visiting these two fitness centers using Experian’s Mosaic.  Both have the largest membership coming from Flourishing Families, defined as “affluent, middle-aged families and couples earning prosperous incomes and living very comfortable, active lifestyles.”  The next largest segment for Club Studio is Booming with Confidence, who are “prosperous, established couples in their peak earning years living in suburban homes.”  These make up a quarter of Club Studio members, but only 14% for LA Fitness.  The third highest segment for both groups is the Power Elite, defined as “the wealthiest households in the US, living in the most exclusive neighborhoods, and enjoying all that life has to offer.”  1-in-5 Club Studio members fit that definition compared with 1-in-8 for LA Fitness.  

Club Studio has certainly added a nice boost in overall foot traffic to Oak Creek Shopping Center, where it is situated, and provides a steady stream of visitors.

While Oak Creek Shopping Center’s YoY traffic has been mostly down the second half of 2022, an interesting pattern emerges in the first half of 2023, where YoY traffic is now trending positively.  Recall that Club Studio opened in Dec 2022.  Similar to grocery stores that people visit weekly or even multiple times a week, fitness centers can serve a similar purpose as an essential retailer.

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Caroline Wu

Director of Research,

Caroline brings expertise in retail, CRE, entertainment, media, CPG, and tourism, and specializes in synthesizing broad datasets into actionable recommendations for growth. She has worked as the US Director of Consumer Insights at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, VP of Retail Insights and Intelligence at Omnicom, and Senior Director at Kantar. Caroline holds an MA in Sociology from Stanford University and a BA in International Relations from Stanford University.

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