YogaSix Stretching to Midwest Expansion
San Diego-Based YogaSix is eyeing up to 15 new yoga studios across the Midwest next year, including Milwaukee, Columbus, Ohio, St. Louis and Kansas City. We spoke with YogaSix CEO Dan Farris on why the Midwest rather than more in SoCal.
Dan tells us it's really about looking at underserved markets and market saturation. “Up and down the coast, you definitely have a lot higher participation rates in yoga,” he says. But at the same time, there are exponentially more yoga studios. The Midwest, he says, has a burgeoning demographic that's seeking out yoga, while having nowhere near the studio saturation you find in California.
Cushman & Wakefield's Chad Iafrate, who has been tapped by YogaSix in its national expansion, says the studio targets a very specific demographic profile and prefers to co-locate near LuluLemon, Apple and Whole Foods stores. And the whole retail fitness industry is growing. According to Statista, there are more than 34,000 fitness and gym membership venues in the US, up 4,000 since the end of the recession. But during that same period, revenues skyrocketed from $19.1B to more than $24B. And Chad says the yoga studio industry is highly fragmented. The biggest single chain competitor is CorePower Yoga, with more than 120 studios today, and growing. But many others are independent shops, or a class at a general membership gym, with no national brand behind them. Despite that, Chad and Dan say the biggest competitor to YogaSix is the yoga mat on the living room floor in front of a television.
And certainly the interest in yoga is booming, with some 10% of adults now practitioners and some 24 million people nationwide participating. As of this year, experts say yoga will be a $2.5B industry, with 43% of practitioners doing it at home. Dan says getting them out of their home and into a studio is a growing trend simply because of availability now. Further growth plans include a fourth Chicago studio and possible expansion into Texas and the Carolinas. As for SoCal, Dan says it will likely remain steady at the four existing studios in its home market as it looks to penetrate less competitive states.