الأحد , يونيو 14 2020

Celebrity fitness chain to go public

Victoria Secret Models

SoulCycle does an annual supermodel cycle for charity

SoulCycle, the US indoor cycling fitness chain which has gained a cult following in the US, plans to float on the stock market.

The boutique fitness firm is popular among A-list celebrities with David Beckham, Lady Gaga and Tom Cruise all having attended classes.

It plans to raise up to $100m (£64m), according to its initial estimate in its official filing.

Started in 2006 by Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice, it now has 36 studios.


Cindy Crawford is a SoulCycle fan

And it is already profitable, making $25m profit last year on sales totalling $112m.

“SoulCycle isn’t in the business of changing bodies: it’s in the business of changing lives,” the boutique fitness firm, says in the filing as it tries to woo would-be investors.

While its description of its purpose may seem rather lofty for what is in reality just another exercise class, it claims to have created a community beyond the people who actually do its classes.

The firm says it has 53,000 Facebook fans and 36,000 Twitter followers – even including people who have never taken part in a class, but which SoulCycle says like the “lifestyle”.

‘Letting go’

And it’s adamant that for most class participants losing weight, typically the most popular reason for exercising, is nothing to do with it.

Its “mission” as the firm describes it, is to benefit not only the body, but the mind and soul too.

“For many of our riders SoulCycle is not about how much weight they can lose, rather, it’s about letting go, turning inward and finding the strength to meet life’s daily challenges, overcome obstacles and break through,” it says.

The 45 minute long classes – costing some $34 each – are set in a dark, candlelit room with high energy music blasting out.

“The experience is tribal. It is primal. And it is fun,” SoulCycle says.

While the majority of its current studios are in New York, it also has a presence in San Francisco and Los Angeles and says it plans to open 10 to 15 studios a year until it reaches “at least” 250 in total.


SoulCycle also sells branded clothing

‘Soul evangelists’

Co-founders Ms Cutler and Ms Rice say they came up with the idea, because they were looking for a fitness activity which didn’t feel like work.

And it claims its classes do exactly that, leaving attendees “mentally and physically stronger” than when they arrived.

The firm also sees itself as a “lifestyle” brand. Alongside its classes it has launched a clothing line featuring bags and tops with its logo on.

It admits celebrities have been a big factor in its success so far, helping to act as “Soul evangelists” and spreading the word about its classes.

“If in the future we lose such celebrity ridership, this could have a negative effect on our business,” it warns.

But non-A listers need not fear, they too can take part in the New York fitness craze.

“Anyone can be an Athlete, a Legend, a Warrior, a Renegade or a Rockstar,” it says in its filing.

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