Behind SoulCycle's Expansion: How The Boutique Studio Became A $112M A Year Franchise
Julia Rice and Elizabeth Cutler turned a boutique cycling studio into a $122M a year upscale brand, a strategy executed—in large part—on the back of tremendous real estate acumen. (You won't believe who's on their board...)
In addition to a rumored 2016 IPO, SoulCycle's planning to expand at, well, the speed of pedaling. We dug up a June IPO filing with the SEC, which revealed plans to open 10 to 15 new studios every year, with up to 250 studios in the US alone.
Real estate strategy is vital to SoulCycle's long-term goals; with the company's ambitious growth plans, the need to identify sites for new locations has become essential.
To that end, the SEC filing revealed that SoulCycle had nominated three real estate veterans as board directors: Related Cos founder and chairman Stephen M. Ross (left); CEO Jeff T. Blau (right); and Robert L. Loverd (not pictured), a director on the board od commercial real estate investment company Acre Realty Investors.
SoulCycle started small, opening a 31-bike indoor cycling studio on NYC's Upper West Side in 2006. Despite the humble beginning, the owners thought of SoulCycle as a "luxury brand" from the start, co-founder Rice tells the New York Times.
That vision has since paid off; SoulCycle easily grossed $100M last year, building a community of over 324,000 unique riders, 270 full-time instructors and 44 studios across eight US metropolitan areas.