3 new regions unveiled; Studio Pilates global boom

By Nick Hall | 09 Aug 2019 View comments

Brisbane-born health and wellness franchise, Studio Pilates has added another notch to its impressive 2019 belt. A bulk of new signings sees an inaugural Western Australian location open its doors, with Studio Pilates global expansion also set to swell.

The new Leederville studio marks the first foray into the western state for the reformer pilates specialist. The brand currently has a presence in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

Jade Winter, Studio Pilates founder and CEO said the latest domestic growth allowed the franchise to reach new clients, tapping into the lucrative Western Australian health market.

“Bringing the Studio Pilates brand to new cities always opens new doors and avenues for expansion,” he said.

“Not only do we find that the brand spreads across each new city that we enter, we are constantly finding that even more new markets open up to us.”

It’s been a busy few months for Winter and the Studio Pilates team. In May, Inside Franchise Business reported that the brand had broken into the US market, signing three agreements in New York.

Just three months on, Winter has ticked off another milestone in the Studio Pilates global journey.

Studio Pilates US signings

In addition to the three signings in New York, Studio Pilates has now secured a franchise agreement in Louisville, Kentucky. Winter said that the area represented a meaningful gateway to an emerging market.

“A beautiful location in an equally beautiful and picturesque part of the USA, Louisville, Kentucky will be the entry point for the Studio Pilates brand in the south-east of the United States,” Winter said.

“The data shows us that there are hundreds of under-serviced regions right across the US in relation to high quality reformer Pilates offerings. This potential excites me very much, especially when it’s combined with the ardour of so many Americans.”

The Brooklyn and Louisville sites will enter the construction phase shortly, and are set to open in the coming months. While the US region is proving to be a winner for the Studio Pilates global plan, another market is turning surprising results.

Studio Pilates China

In 2018, Studio Pilates launched its inaugural venture into the Chinese market, opening a studio in the bustling hub of Zhujiang New Town, Guangzhou.

In just 18 months, the corporate-owned studio has flourished, greatly exceeding even Winter’s wildest expectations.

“The Chinese market is devouring our product; they are possessed by it,” he said.

While it might seem like an interesting move; to expand into China before gaining a foothold in more mature, western markets such as London, Winter believes the key to sustainability is potential.

“More mature markets often have higher levels of competition, higher rents and higher wage costs,” he said.

“China is a market where it’s far more affordable to physically build a site, plus there are the additional benefits of a huge number of potential customers right on the doorstep of each site, far less competition and a genuine thirst for services that provide a high quality, customer experience. After observing first-hand the lack of quality and very few Pilates reformer offerings in China, I knew we would be successful.”

Now is as good a time as any for the brand to capitalise. The founder and CEO announced that a second location at Binjiang in Guangzhou will open soon, spurred by the enormous demand for the model.

“We have successfully tapped into the local Chinese-speaking market, rather than just servicing the expat community and bilingual Chinese. This has been a key factor in our success in this space and it now opens up potential across the entire country. That’s a lot of potential.”

Studio Pilates global growth

The Studio Pilates global growth strategy has seen the brand tackle some of the most difficult markets worldwide. Despite the evolving nature of the consumer market, Winter said the strategy will remain stable across regions moving forward.

“I believe that no matter where one lives, we all respond positively to a high-quality product or service that is combined with a customer experience that is of an equal calibre,” he said.

“In Australia, we are continuing to expand our footprint (in new cities and in cities that we are already in) as well as continuing to focus on constant same store growth and taking our franchisee’s profitability to even higher levels.”

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