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Equinox CEO Harvey Spevak Expects Equinox to Have Big Unit Growth in 2016

Equinox CEO Harvey Spevak Expects Equinox to Have Big Unit Growth in 2016

Usage at Equinox, SoulCycle and Blink are at all-time highs, Equinox CEO Harvey Spevak shared Thursday on Bloomberg <GO> with host Stephanie Ruhle. The reason? People are coming in more frequently than ever before, he said.

"Equinox will probably have its biggest growth in terms of unit growth this year, opening 10 clubs including new markets," Spevak said, offering as examples the company's recently opened location in Houston and two openings to come in Canada.

SoulCycle, the indoor cycle brand in the Equinox fold, also is focused on unit growth, he said, sharing that a relationship it announced this month with Target to do on-site classes in 10 cities during January and February will build brand awareness in cities such as Seattle and Houston where that brand is interested in entering in the next 12 months.

Spevak brushed off worries that a recession might affect revenue for the high-end brand, saying that during the recession that began in 2008, Equinox actually had a record year that year because people came to the club more often to relieve stress.

"People are more conscious about how they feel and how they look than ever before," Spevak said. "If you think about all of the ways that we are playing—full-service fitness, boutique fitness, fast fitness on the Blink side—we are seeing huge demand. We can't satisfy the demand. That's why we are growing as quickly as we can.

"The other thing that is happening is the experiential economy. People today want experience, and they are willing to prioritize experience over a nice new sweater or a new jacket or things of that nature."

Equinox is owned by Related Companies, a real estate development company. Another reason for the company's growth during the recession, according to Spevak, is that recessions are a good time to grab real estate.

"We made some of our boldest moves during the recession last time, and we've had explosive growth since," he said.

Speaking of growth, Spevak also shared a bit about the company's entry in the hotel business. For more on that, view the full interview below.

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