This is another signal that consumer exercise habits continue to change as the pandemic drags on.
In the coming days, SoulCycle will close approximately 20 of its 83 studios: six in the New York area, five in California, and others in Washington, DC, Massachusetts, Illinois, Florida, and Georgia. It will also close in Toronto, which means a complete exit from Canada.
“As riders continue to return to studio classes, there have been many changes as a result of the pandemic,” a SoulCycle spokesperson told CNN Business in a statement, saying some of those changes are based on geography and that the company “evaluates[ed] if there is an opportunity to scale in certain markets.”
Customers who frequent a studio that is closing were notified by email over the weekend, and approximately 75 of SoulCycle’s approximately 1,350 employees will be laid off as a result of the closures.
Peloton had received a boost from the Covid-19 closures, as consumers sought to exercise at home when gyms closed. But SoulCycle, which has largely focused on in-studio classes, has been hit by the other side of this trend.
Affordable chains thrive
Fitness chains and independent gyms as a whole have been hit hard, with around a third of fitness centers closed during the pandemic. This resulted in the loss of 1.5 million jobs, according to a report by IHRSA, a fitness advisory group.
“We believe our affordable, high-quality fitness experience will resonate more than ever as Americans seek value and feel the rising costs of everyday items, such as food and gas,” said CEO Chris Rondeau said on an earnings call, adding that he’s noticed people “swapping” high-priced gyms.