SoulCycle is slimming down, and one of their 20 locations they are closing is Southport, which opened to great fanfare in 2016. In addition to Southport, the chain will also be closing their North Shore location at Old Orchard mall.
The once-hot exercise chain — some folks have been known to take multiple classes a day — is closing 20 of its 82 studio locations nationwide within the next few weeks, the company announced Friday in a town hall-style Zoom meeting with its employees.
The closings are being blamed on the changing exercise habits following COVID lockdowns.
“As riders continue to return to in-studio classes, there have been many shifts as a result of the pandemic,” a SoulCycle spokesperson told the Post in a statement. “Some of these shifts have been based on geography and therefore we are naturally reevaluating our portfolio of studios to assess whether there is an opportunity to right-size in certain markets. This will allow us to continue to provide riders with the SoulCycle experience they know and love.”
SoulCycle is closing 19 studios in the US and Canada and laying off employees.
SoulCycle CEO Evelyn Webster announced the closures in an all-hands meeting with staffers on Friday morning, according to leaked audio from the meeting shared with Insider.
“The timing was appropriate to look at our studio footprint by market to understand whether we continue to believe that we had indeed oversaturated some markets, and the conclusion is that after much work and analysis that perhaps we have,” Webster said.
The closures include locations in New York, California, Massachusetts, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Washington state, and Washington, DC, as well as the company’s remaining Canada location in Toronto. Six of the 19 closures are in the New York City metro area.
Webster said that while the company intends to relocate some staffers to other SoulCycle locations, some staffers can expect layoffs, though she did not specify how many.
“Unfortunately, this does mean given the number of studios and the number of markets that we’re talking about, that this will ultimately lead to a number of our teammates losing their employment with SoulCycle,” she said.
A SoulCycle spokesperson did not share the number of expected layoffs, but said in a statement that the downsizing was partially based on “shifts as a result of the pandemic.”
“Some of these shifts have been based on geography and therefore we are naturally reevaluating our portfolio of studios to assess whether there is an opportunity to right-size in certain markets,” the spokesperson said. “This will allow us to continue to provide riders with the SoulCycle experience they know and love.”
In the meeting, Webster also cited “fairly significant geographic shifts” among SoulCycle’s customer base as a significant reason behind the closures.
“We’ve been able to analyze a lot of data that very clearly indicates to us that many of our riders have moved,” she said. “They’ve either moved where they live and they no longer live close to a studio, or for many of our riders they’ve moved where they work because they’re working from home.”
She continued: “You can imagine a process like this is extraordinarily involved, very, very complex. It involves our teammates of colleagues, first and foremost, our riders, and of course, all of the landlord negotiations which in their own right is very, very complicated. What I will tell you, is this is absolutely the right decision.”
See the full list of closures, below:
- Grand Central
- Park Slope
- West 92nd Street
- Hamptons – Water Mill
- Long Island – Woodbury
- San Jose
- Beverly Hills
- Newport Beach
- Del Mar
- Mount Vernon
- North Shore
- Atlanta – Ponce City Market
- Seattle, University Village
- Toronto – Yorkville