What Xpoential’s Financials Mean for the Boutique Fitness Industry

Xponential Fitness (NYSE: XPOF) released their 2023 financial results and they’ve left me feeling incredibly hopeful for the boutique fitness industry as a whole. Xponential franchisees now operate nearly 2,900 studios worldwide, with over 5,800 licenses sold across ten leading fitness brands. While it’s sometimes tricky to comb through the sea of numbers and pinpoint what really matters for our industry—mostly independent studios, not franchises—some key data points jumped off the page. 

No, it wasn’t the 30% YoY revenue growth. It is the fact that U.S. consumers are returning to and coming to class. The substantial increase in the number of visits (32% YoY growth) and members (29% YoY growth) highlights the growing appeal of fitness studios and the infectious desire for class-oriented experiences. Basically, people love your classes. A lot. And they aren't afraid to spend, buying recurring memberships that influence their routine and well-being. Now this is huge for an industry that, one year ago, was worried about rebounding at all.  

The fact that existing franchisees are expanding and adding more locations underscores this industry's scalability and predictability and the confidence that consumers are embracing wellness through boutique studios. Taking a step back, this growth speaks volumes about how consumers think about how (and how often) they want to get back to fitness (surprise!—we didn’t all stay motivated to work out at home by ourselves). As a working mom, I can appreciate a studio's value as they bridge the gap between effective, accountability-focused workouts and a sense of community. It's no secret: I’m busy. My kids are busy. Walla is busy. But studios provide a multifaceted solution to many of my needs: Heath, camaraderie, laughs, challenges, and an always fulfilling sense of accomplishment. 

Boutique studios have started adapting to a new consumer and aligning with our modern lives and demands. By offering multiple levels, modalities, hybrid classes, and off-hour experiences, consumers can keep the flexibility they are used to AND build long-term relationships. Long story short: Putting a class on my calendar, and knowing that I’ll see a couple of friends and my favorite instructor when I get there, makes me want to show up. And I’m not alone! 

At Walla, we work with studios nationwide and are seeing more and more of them offer community-oriented classes and experiences outside the typical daily schedule. Volunteer events, sound healing, and community challenges have steadily begun to pop up on schedules—and the response is pretty incredible. The rebound from the pandemic amplified the longing for genuine connection and connection-focused workouts within the fitness industry. We were tired of motivating ourselves to work out alone at home! It's as if the collective experience of isolation has led people to cherish and seek opportunities to forge connections beyond mere physical activity. Boutique studios are starting to become community hubs, and this helps fitness businesses retain clients and grow the client base organically. 

At its core, the Xponential data showcases, exemplifies, and speaks volumes about the profound impact a shared class experience can have. The very essence of how individuals tend to feel more at ease connecting with those they've shared accomplishments with. This remarkable phenomenon underscores the human tendency to bond over shared goals and achievements. In a yoga or fitness class, this inclination becomes particularly evident. 

Whether it's the joy of mastering a challenging pose, the satisfaction of completing a rigorous routine, or the mutual support exchanged during partner exercises, these experiences, these movements create an unbreakable bond that goes beyond the confines of the studio. Shared struggles and triumphs are powerful—even if that triumph is breathing deeply together. A testament to the human spirit's unwavering need to connect, inspire, and uplift one another. A philosophy that lies at the heart of the boutique fitness movement and its exceptional growth. The Xponential numbers reinforce this feeling that drives Walla, drives your studio to succeed and are a reminder our industry is on the fast-track for positive, wellness-based change. Now who wants to join me in class?