The crowded and competitive gym business in the Toronto are about to get a major new player.
Hard Candy Fitness, an international chain of upscale gyms, is opening the doors of its Toronto location – the company’s first in North America – on November 5 with a high price point. Meanwhile, just last weekend, a Mississauga gym tried to quietly close their doors to the public due to a $100,ooo debt.
With 77 gyms in Toronto’s downtown centre, Hard Candy has a lot of competition – competition that may be hard to beat in a student populated area like College and Yonge. Elizabeth MacDonald, a frequent gym goer, says she pays $28 bi-weekly for her membership at GoodLife Fitness. Hard Candy is asking for $99 per month.
MacDonald, a post-grad student, says she would consider spending more on a gym membership, but not until she has “a higher income and has more money to spend on such a thing.”
So, what can a gym offer its members that has not already been offered for a lower price?
Hard Candy is offering fitness classes that are geared towards the younger generation. The sales director of Hard Candy, Jeff Ro, says there are fitness classes that are designed for women to work out in their heels, and spin classes that will be led with the help of a DJ. Ro says he wants to create a fun, family-like environment and plans on hosting parties with cocktails and DJs. The gym also promises to feature light-up stationary bike wheels, hybrid-treadmill-ellipticals, a wrap around outdoor deck, and a yoga wall, as well as the view of Dundas Square from the treadmills.
The company also includes a service that will call you if they notice your account has not been used in a while.