Many of the best ideas come amidst a major setback.That’s what happened to the co-founders of fitness club KiwiSweat, who devised the company’s “pop-up” business plan after being unable to secure a lease. Their original plan was to open an indoor cycling club on Manhattan’s Upper West Side (via Wall Street Journal).
“That’s when it clicked for us,” Alicia Thomas told the Journal. “What if we popped up in really cool and different spaces?”
So they decided to create limited-edition fitness classes in unlikely locations around the city. For the next two weeks, they’re hosting $27 cycling classes in Chelsea Markets, then they’ll move to an industrial space in Dumbo and a gallery in Boerum Hill. Their goal is to capitalise on the 20% of people who “don’t have routines … or just like the idea of spontaneity.”
Many companies have created hugely successful pop-up retail stores and restaurants around the country — like the one Target opened a few days before launching its Missoni line — but KiwiSweat is completely different, because its entire business model is based on the concept.
We’re a bit sceptical about how sustainable this is, so we called up Alicia. She told us that what differentiates her business from others is that they bring in high-quality instructors from around the city — and plan to start flying some in from around the U.S. — which creates demand and allows for cross-promotion. “We’re also meeting with corporations and other like-minded businesses,” she says. So far, “I don’t believe a model like this exists.”
We’ll agree that if you’re going to launch such a business, New York City is the best market for it.
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