When you get an email blast promoting $25 SoulCycle classes, it’s hard to look the other way (and not mutter “what the hell?” under your breath when you’ve just bought a 10-pack at nary a discount of $34 a pop).
But this week, FitClub, a new boutique fitness booking platform in New York City (a la ClassPass) that’s still in beta, started sending email blasts (called Sweat Now) with “last-minute boutique fitness deals.”
However, it appears that some of the studios with discounted classes in the FitClub email are likely not participating in a program with FitClub. SoulCycle, for example, is famously anti-discounting. (And with waitlists galore in New York City, they don’t need to.)
Could this be a case of selling classes on the cheap for the cool factor and attracting new customers to FitClub (and away from competitors who don’t have Soul in their networks either)?
Earlier today, when we got the email blast, we went straight to Soul’s website. One of the classes in FitClub’s email (Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at SoulCycle’s 19th Street studio) had a waitlist, meaning there were plenty of “rockstars” patiently awaiting a call from the Soul Fairy. So how in the heck is FitClub able to offer last-minute classes, for a cheaper price?
“We have deals with a lot of great studios,” says Michael Wieder, co-founder of FitClub. “But, unfortunately I have to keep the nature of the deals private.” Wieder says his company is “allowing studios to maximize their business. That’s what Sweat Now is all about.”
But Wieder “didn’t want to focus” on where the heck the $25 SoulCycle classes or the $15 Exhale classes came from. When we asked directly, he shared that “after Tuesday, [SoulCycle] classes won’t be up…we’re sold out going forward in terms of their classes.”
Exhale confirmed in an email to Well+Good that the brand is not working with FitClub and SoulCycle’s public relations team says “we are not working with them.”
Uplift is in on the deal, though. Co-founder Leanne Shear confirmed that she is sharing open class spots with FitClub that are “available within the next 24 hours,” and that FitClub’s email is handy in trying to fill those spots. “It works for studios since those spots would likely not be filled otherwise,” says Shear. “We’d rather take a discounted rate than nothing at all.”
Which makes sense if that’s something your studio’s down with. But we’re picturing the wrath of the big-name studios—and waitlisted clients—who aren’t. —Molly Gallagher