The Equinox Business Model Breakdown

By Bernhard Mehl
August 28, 2020

Equinox is a premium gym brand that has seen major global success. This brand has a cult following in the US, Canada, and the UK, and they use a unique strategy to provide a specialized fitness experience. 

The Equinox business model is unlike other gyms in a number of ways. They have established themselves as one of the most exclusive fitness brands and continue to drive their business into new directions. With unique marketing campaigns and a broad range of interesting business strategies, Equinox has set itself apart in a highly competitive industry. 

The Unique Equinox Business Model

Equinox has based its gym around a more premium, exclusive offering. This fitness brand has targeted new audiences, taken on various business acquisitions, and has rolled out major global expansion. 

Thinking of opening a gym? Exploring the successful Equinox business model, and understanding how it has helped to shape the success of the brand can provide valuable inspiration.

Equinox Gym Demographics

Equinox gyms target a wealthier, more elite client base. Monthly membership fees can range up to $500 for the top membership option. This has allowed the brand to target consumers that are more financially stable, giving them a firmer standing through economic turmoil. With the expansion, Equinox also targets cities that have a larger portion of wealthier residents. 

The gym presents a premium fitness offering through its facilities. This can be experienced through more personalized classes, advanced equipment, and luxurious touches like Kiehl's products in the changing rooms. There are also sophisticated lounges in the gyms, as well as luxurious aspects - like outdoor decks. 

Targeting a more elite demographic is one of the key areas of Equinox’s success. 

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Fitness As A Lifestyle

Beyond targeting a wealthy demographic, Equinox has positioned itself towards members that see fitness as a lifestyle rather than just an activity. This has allowed the brand to create a full 360 experience. Client relationships can become stronger and additional areas of business can open up (such as the new Equinox fitness hotel concept).

The Equinox business model has created an offering that goes beyond being a simple gym. This is a brand that believes in the value of fitness and presents a range of amenities and specialized customer care solutions that foster this idea. This kind of positioning has helped to create a dedicated membership community while justifying its high pricing. 

Acquisitions

Equinox has acquired a number of other top fitness brands. These include SoulCycle, Blink Fitness, and Pure Yoga. Aligning the Equinox brand with these other fitness enterprises has helped to push the idea that Equinox believes in the fitness lifestyle. It has also helped the brand to stay in touch with industry trends and continue leading within the premium fitness market. 

The real estate company behind Equinox continues to invest in an expanding fitness portfolio, with some million-dollar investments expected in the future. This is one way in which the brand has been able to rapidly expand in different areas.  

The Experience

Consumers these days value experiences over retail purchases. This is something that Equinox understands and it is why they have invested so heavily in the fitness experience model. Instead of simply offering a place to work out, Equinox presents a more complete experience. This is also seen through the company's other brands and investments. 

Equinox offers the best client-to-trainer ratio and sets itself apart as being the top luxury gym offering. One of the most important areas that Equinox has enhanced its business value is between the relationship with its consumers. Through providing a more memorable and upmarket experience, members are happier to pay inflated monthly fees. 

Equinox Revenue

So how many members does Equinox have? The company has around 350,000 members spread across its 92 different clubs. The company says that its members spend a “blended average” of around $3,500 each year. This means that the gym receives an annual revenue of around $1 billion. Profits range from 10 - 15% annually. 

On top of this, SoulCycle (who Equinox acquired in 2011) has more than tripled its revenue. Blink Fitness, another one of the company's acquisitions, generates around $100 million and up per year. 

Since these acquisitions, Equinox has expanded its portfolio with new clubs and million-dollar investments. These include new gyms, as well as the company's own hotel brand. 

Final Thoughts

The Equinox business model differs from other gyms in the way the brand positions itself within the market. This is a fitness brand that focuses on offering the best, premium experience available. The gym charges high membership fees and targets a wealthy group of clientele. 

Through providing a powerful experience, Equinox has managed to build an incredibly loyal (and ever-expanding) membership base. The company's unique business model and differentiation in the market continues to drive growth and expansion across the globe. This can be seen in the many new clubs and gyms opening up, as well as new ventures and acquisitions taken on by the company. 

Equinox has presented something new to the fitness world - with a business model that has helped to build a hugely successful global brand. Depending on what type of gym you want to open, looking at the Equinox business model can be very beneficial.

Bernhard Mehl

Bernhard is the co-founder and CEO of Kisi. His philosophy, "security is awesome," is contagious among tech-enabled companies.