On the heels of opening its 100th studio space in Santa Monica, California, Solidcore has plans to expand to 250 locations and potentially internationally in the next three to five years, WWD has learned exclusively.
“L.A. as a market for a fitness company is one of the most critical markets, certainly domestically, but I would argue in the world,” said Solidcore’s chief executive officer, Bryan Myers. “As you know, health and wellness, culturally, are so central to the community here in Southern California.”
News of expansion comes after the Washington, D.C.-based business secured funding from Kohlberg & Company. Last month it was announced that Solidcore’s founder Anne Mahlum, who launched the studio in 2013, sold her shares to the private equity firm. Mahlum had raised capital from Kohlberg & Company, as well as Peterson Partners and VMG Partners through the years.
“To get to the 100th studio is of course an amazing accomplishment, and I’m incredibly proud of our team for getting here,” Myers said. Santa Monica marks its fifth location in Southern California. “But I also think it speaks to the influence of Southern California, L.A., Santa Monica specifically, as we think about this as the jumping off point to the next chapter of the company as we march toward 250 locations in the future, perhaps opening our first international location over the next three to five years, and so many other major milestones that we’re excited to look toward in the future.”
Offering a 50-minute, high-intensity, full-body workout on a Pilates-inspired reformer, the business currently operates in 25 states, as well as D.C.
Hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic, Solidcore now has more members than it did in 2019, said Myers: “Our numbers are up about 60 percent relative to where they were pre-COVID-19.”
What are the most successful markets?
“Like many brands, the density of New York allows for us to achieve pretty significant revenue volumes in that market,” Myers continued. “But what I’m really proud of is, particularly post-COVID-19, we have markets like Southern California, like Boston, like Southern Florida, like Texas, like Chicago that are rivaling even the volumes that we see in New York City.”
Moving forward, as Solidcore looks to grow across the U.S., it first aims to have a bigger presence in California, with plans to open in San Francisco and San Diego as part of its 10 to 15 more studio openings this year.
“There’s more studios on the way here in the Los Angeles region,” Myers said. “But I will also tell you that we’re starting to do some early work around both the San Diego market and San Francisco and so more to come on that in the coming month as we start to finalize our plans. We’re really excited to plant additional flags here in California generally. We also opened Seattle as a market last year, and we are rapidly expanding in that market as our product and brand has been super well received.”
Myers, who was previously at Sweetgreen, began as a client at Solidcore nine years ago, he said. He’s been with the company for more than five years and was promoted to CEO in April 2021.
“There’s really two elements that have made the business successful and sort of helped our ability to reach the scale that we have,” he explained. “The first is that we have a product that works.…No one walks out of a Solidcore class and wonders if the workout worked. And I think that in and of itself in an environment — especially now post-pandemic where we are more discerning about where we spend our time, energy, effort [and] money — people want a product that’s going to allow them to see results.…Number two is, what Solidcore does when you walk into the studio is it makes sure that you know that you are the most important person in the room. And for our brand that means making sure that your coach greets you and knows you by name. It means providing you with hands-on corrections and adjustments to ensure that you’re safe in the room, that you get the most out of the workout. It’s understanding your fitness goals and making sure that we’re a part of that journey for you.”