Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) is a new, groundbreaking fitness technology. Light current impulses intensify the training effect which improves training results. The advantage: Considerable time saving for those users, who only have twenty minutes per week to reach their goals. Their success: In the last twelve years, more than 1500 boutique fitness studios dedicated exclusively to EMS have been built in Germany alone. The first mover and dominant franchise brand is Bodystreet. With its 300 studios it now has more locations than the next seven top providers together and is a proven business case for franchising.
The Bodystreet studios differ from classic gyms not only in terms of training technology, but these lounge-like locations never have more than two customers training at the same time creating an intimate personal training experience. With a proven business model break-even can be achieved with 100 members. Classic gyms, depending their size need at least 1000 customers for this. High performing Bodystreet studios reach 300 members creating high returns.
In February 2018, Bodystreet opened its first U.S. studio in Phoenix, Arizona. Founder Matthias H. Lehner is sure that its franchise story will be as successful as the one in Europe: "The U.S. market may differ from the European market in many ways. But here, too, many people have a basic need to stay fit and healthy but are too busy. Bodystreet provides that need—Especially in countries where many people are professionally upward oriented and spend 50 or more hours a week doing everything to get ahead, our time-saving fitness concept as a franchise system will find many friends."
Lehner, who is also Vice President of the German Franchise Association, is not alone in his opinion. ”Ron Lynch, President and Owner of Tilted Kilt, is certain: "The franchise brand Bodystreet could play the same role in the fitness sector as German brand cars have done. They are not positioned as a mass provider. Instead, their high-value technology and service offering clearly stands out from the mainstream, which gives the customer the feeling of being able to afford something special.”
Many U.S. franchise professionals also see excellent prospects for Bodystreet. Ray Hays, Managing Partner of FranLaunch USA, says: "In the USA there are hardly any alternatives to the classic gym. Innovative concepts like Bodystreet leverage a first-mover advantage to open a new segment and achieve a dominant position in the U.S. market."
Greg Tanner (Tanner Franchise Group) is also convinced of the German concept: "I have seldom seen a franchise system in the fitness sector that is so detailed in its quality standards and has such precise ideas about the wishes of its target group. In addition, for the first time, it gives its partners the opportunity to address clientele outside the classical fitness scene.”
All just advance laurels? Not at all. The Bodystreet boutique fitness studio in Phoenix, Arizona has emphatically underlined that the expectations towards the new provider is not too high. "Let's not kid ourselves: Phoenix with its summer temperatures well above 100°F is not the most suitable place for testing a fitness concept. But this is precisely why it is the most relevant endurance test for a franchise system. Any fitness concept which can survive in the desert, can make it everywhere in the States", says Lehner optimistically. And rightly so: The brand's success in Europe speaks for itself. "In 2019, we will start with the selecting process for the first franchisees. As with any truly innovative system, those who are involved from the very beginning have the best cards", says Lehner.