Will free soul cycling classes help Target get on a roll?

Discussion
Source: Target.com/SoulCycle
Jan 27, 2016

Target is partnering with SoulCycle, the popular indoor cycling fitness chain, to offer free cycling workout classes as part of a 10-city tour.

“SoulCycle’s signature studio cycling classes are a rising trend — the 45-minute, high-intensity workouts (complete with candlelight and rocking music) have already captivated fitness enthusiasts in several U.S. cities,” Target said in a statement. “Now, we’re broadening the program’s reach to give even more guests unprecedented access to this highly sought-after experience.”

The tour started this past weekend in Washington D.C., Houston and Seattle offering complementary classes taught by certified SoulCycle instructors. It will reach seven other cities — Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Nashville — over the following three weeks.

Each event will also feature a pop-up shop featuring Target x SoulCycle workout apparel plus other wellness products. Those unable to make a workout are being encouraged to visit target.com to download a curated Spotify workout playlist as well as to shop the Target x SoulCycle collection.

“We know that wellness is top of mind for so many of our guests, especially at this time of year when people are looking for ways to reinvigorate their exercise routines,” said Jeff Jones, chief marketing officer, Target. “By partnering with a premier fitness brand like SoulCycle, we can offer a uniquely Target experience and help our guests start the New Year off on a positive note.”

The SoulCycle tour follows the launch on Jan. 1 of a 21-Day workout series led by five workout videos on Target’s YouTube channel starring two fitness ambassadors for its C9 Champion brand.

While the health & wellness trend has boosted active wear sales over the last few years, it is rare for mainstream stores to sponsor fitness events. The other exception is Kohl’s, which has partnered with the Color Run race series as well as with fitness and yoga influencers as part of its “Make Your Move” initiative.

What do you think of Target’s partnership with SoulCycle? Do you think Target and Kohl’s will gain an advantage over competitors in sales for wellness products as a result of its fitness program sponsorships?

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Braintrust
"Smart move by Target — carrying branded fitness wear and showing customers how to use it. This is a strong point of differentiation from other mass merchants."

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9 Comments on "Will free soul cycling classes help Target get on a roll?"


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Max Goldberg
Guest
6 years 3 months ago

Smart move by Target — carrying branded fitness wear and showing customers how to use it. This is a strong point of differentiation from other mass merchants.

Robert DiPietro
Guest
6 years 3 months ago

This is a great partnership and will tie in nicely with the “athleisure” wear movement. It also reminds me of the DIY workshops at Home Depot where they show you how to do something for free then sell you the tools and equipment to do it.

Brian Kelly
Guest
6 years 3 months ago
Success in retail, as in most things, is “small ball.” It’s is a series of singles, getting folks on base and bringing them around to score. Homers are high risk and low return.So with the wellness strategy in place, a SoulCycle relationship is a good tactic. Spinning also brings attributes that support the “tar-zhay”positioning too. Wellness, to me, is a “homer” strategy and I don’t think it can drive a mass retail brand. It can add brand lift, but wellness needs to be a part of a program that addresses the range of diverse shoppers TGT claims to be targeting. Wellness means different things to different people. Spinning is a comparatively small segment. Now that smoking has settled in at 20% of Americans, the Robert Wood Johnson fund has shifted its focus to childhood obesity. With an aging population, obesity is a significant issue. While the FDA has brought eggs back to the breakfast table, and hamburger restaurants, it remains steadfastly against highly processed meat, e.g. bacon. A retailer should not get between its customer… Read more »
Lee Kent
Guest
6 years 3 months ago

Target is right on the money with this one, but perhaps not for the reasons others may think. You see, I see Target as getting back to their roots with this one. The Tar-chez chic roots. Whether its fitness or some other venture, Target is putting out the cool clothing and accessories that go with a hot concept. Tre smart!

Will this help them become known for wellness products? Not so sure about that, but I encourage them to keep moving along this track.

And that’s my 2 cents.

Matt Talbot
Guest
6 years 3 months ago

This is an interesting concept that could pay dividends for Target. The key to determining the success of this partnership will be examining participation, related sales and the buzz these events build.

Throughout the tour and then after, Target will need to ask the right questions of participants, sales associates and instructors alike. They’ll then need to dig into the vast amounts of data collected from these people and determine the correlation to POS data. If this information points to a positive ROI, look for more partnerships like this out of the retail giant.

Kai Clarke
Guest
6 years 3 months ago

This is an interesting promotion, but we should approach this as a sponsored promotion and nothing else. Target is not in the workout business, and their locations are not hubs for a specific brand. Focus on the products, customer satisfaction, and out of stocks, and I think that Target customers will find more value in a Target store which continues to fit their needs, rather than many of the stores which are frequently missing key products, out-of-stock on others, and have long lines at the customer service center.

Doug Fleener
Guest
6 years 3 months ago

This is not a strategy, but a promotion and marketing vehicle. It obviously will get the press and others talking about it. (Including RetailWire!)

Larry Negrich
Guest
6 years 3 months ago

Buzz is cool. Brand is king. Nice to get some buzz and drive some traffic with interesting promos, especially with the importance of Athleisure. Neither will be the Wellness destination, but it is positive that the brand delivers clothing and merchandise solutions for a variety of activities. And drive some sales … all good.

Arie Shpanya
Guest
6 years 3 months ago

Target’s partnership with SoulCycle is perfect for three reasons.

1. Shoppers want more than just products, they want a memorable experience and Target is providing this.

2. This is timely: many people set health related goals around the new year and Target’s partnership aims to help them accomplish those goals.

3. SoulCycle and cycling classes in general are very popular right now.

Overall, Target picked a great time and a great partner to roll out this kind of campaign with.

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Braintrust
"Smart move by Target — carrying branded fitness wear and showing customers how to use it. This is a strong point of differentiation from other mass merchants."

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