Monday, August 26, 2019

[UPDATE] Wheels Falling Off? Flywheel Shutters 11 Studios Including Avalon

Fitness studio Flywheel has closed its Avalon location in Alpharetta amidst a nationwide review of the company's studios.  The Avalon location, which opened as part of phase one of the mixed-use project in late 2014, marked the company's OTP debut.  The Avalon Flywheel is one of eleven studios that the company is closing.

“We decided to take a look at our national footprint and close studios that were under-performing,” a spokesman for the company said. “All riders impacted will be offered a full refund.”

This Thursday, August 29, Flywheel will close all four studios in Los Angeles.  In addition to those, studios in Austin, Texas; North Miami, Florida; and San Francisco area locations in Sunnyvale and Walnut Creek, California will also or have already closed.  

Atlanta area Flywheel locations remain open at 1180 West Peachtree Street in Midtown and at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta in Buckhead.  SoulCycle, recognized as the original trendy indoor cycling studio, opened a Buckhead studio last May and on September 20 will open a new studio at Ponce City Market.  

Ruth Zuckerman co-founded SoulCycle in 2006 before leaving to start Flywheel in 2009.  A September 2015 article in Business Insider claimed that Flywheel was SoulCycle's biggest threat.  

Amazingly, the lengthy article made no mention of Peloton, an at-home stationary bike company that started in 2012.  Perhaps seen as little or insignificant then, Peloton has grown to a multi-billion dollar business having sold more than 400,000 of their $2,000 bikes.  Peloton's meteoric growth did not remain unnoticed by its rivals.  

In 2017 Flywheel launched their own "Home" stationary bike to compete with Peloton.  The following year, Peloton sued Flywheel claiming Flywheel copied its at-home bike technology and infringed on its patents.  The case is ongoing.  

Flywheel had in 2018 explored a sale but abandoned those plans due to lackluster interest.  In April, Flywheel was taken over by one of its lenders, Kennedy Lewis Investment Management LLC, a New York-based investment firm.

Peloton opened its Atlanta showroom at Lenox Square in Buckhead in 2016.  The company confidentially filed for its IPO this past June with industry reports pegging its value at over $4 billion. 

Are you a former Flywheel customer who now has a Peloton bike?  Have you tried the Flywheel  "Home" bike?  What is your favorite stationary bike studio?

Please share your thoughts below   


Anonymous said...

I've done a lot of studio cycling in the past. In fact, Ruth Zuckerman was one of my instructers in the early-mid 2000's.

However, in today's market I'd chose Peloton and do the workouts from home at my convenience. Certainly the cost of the bike is a significant investment, but over several years is worth it.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the Avalon location the most of the 3 in the Atlanta area. A real fun place to workout with a great crowd of patrons and instructors. I'd guess the high rent at Avalon made is hard for this location to succeed in the suburban marketplace while the two in town locations have a larger net to draw from in terms of clients.

Anonymous said...

I know I am just one client, but I am confused and disappointed as to why they closed the Avalon studio. If the class size is too small, consolidate classes or look at the schedule and make appropriate changes as needed, not close the entire studio. What happens now? Not every student is close to Buckhead or Midtown, I know I'm not nor do I want to consider driving through morning or evening traffic to get there, not unless its a Saturday and even thats sketchy. The demand is in Alpharetta; If Soul Cycle is the owner of Flywheel Sports, then Soul Cycle, you need to consider placing a class at the Avalon location, even if it is on a trial basis to determine interest. If the cost of rent of space is too expensive, then attempt to look as if you're trying to retain clients in this area by looking for a lower rental cost, pulling the classes totally out of the Alpharetta Market was not the answer.

Disappointed Client.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...