Boutique clubs such as Ruff Fitness in Hagerstown MD are causing bigbox clubs to make some changes Photo courtesy of Ruff Fitness

Boutique clubs, such as Ruff Fitness in Hagerstown, MD, are causing big-box clubs to make some changes. Photo courtesy of Ruff Fitness.

Boutique Clubs Make a Sustainable Case for Themselves

The growth of boutique clubs to 21 percent of the market may show that these facilities are not a fad but a new way of doing business—and one that is causing big-box clubs to adapt.

Boutique fitness clubs are everywhere these days. In fact, boutiques made up 21 percent of the club market in 2013, according to IHRSA's 2014 Health Club Consumer Report. Their proprietors are beginning to sense a trickling up, of sorts, on the operations of big-box gyms. From an increase in niche equipment and a wider array of group exercise classes to membership options and marketing, larger club operators are bor

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