Can fitness classes wake up retail store traffic?
In May, Saks Fifth Avenue’s flagship location in New York City opened a 16,000 square-feet concept shop that has been offering a wide range of fitness and meditation classes.
The Wellery promises more than 1,200 of the city’s best fitness classes from May through October. Rotating pop-up classes include those from ConBody, a prison-style boot camp using only one’s body weight, and Bendable Body, a specialized stretching method that works on connective tissue. MNDFL, with three locations in the city, is offering meditation classes while instructors from modelFIT teach class-goers “how to move with strength and grace through daily activities.” Also on the schedule are wellness-focused events, including reiki healing, meditation and massages, as well as a salt chamber and manicures.
Customers can book fitness classes through the individual brands’ websites, but walk-ins can check on availability.
Shoppers can also experience the latest home gym equipment in showrooms from Technogym, Peloton and Martone Cycling as well as take advantage of custom golf club fittings. The Wellery is also showcasing a number of up-and-coming active wear brands, such as Heroine Sport, Phat Buddha and Beyond Yoga.
Saks in statement noted that it has “a long history of creating breakthrough, experiential environments in our stores.” In 1935, the retailer constructed an indoor ski slope in its flagship to offer skiing lessons.
With activewear one of the few apparel categories seeing growth, Bloomingdale’s and Urban Outfitters are among other stores offering in-store wellness experiences, according to the Associated Press.
“We need to be their sanctuary, whether they need retail therapy or want to feel good about themselves,” Saks President Marc Metrick told the AP. “After a good workout, it’s a big rush, so it’s great. We want people to feel good in our stores … it doesn’t always have to be because you bought a killer pair of shoes.”
- Saks Fifth Avenue Announces The Opening of The Wellery at New York Flagship Store – Saks
- Saks Wellery – Saks Fifth Avenue
- Retailers want to work out your wallet and your body – The Associated Press/ABC News
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does it make sense to bring fitness and meditation classes to a retail store setting? Do you see temporary spaces and rotating classes as the best way to capitalize on the opportunity or more permanent, year-round wellness experiences?