By Craig Patterson
California-based high-intensity workout concept Barry’s Bootcamp has opened its second Canadian location as it embarks on a Canadian expansion that will eventually see about 10 storefronts over the next several years. The company, which refers to itself as being “Best Workout in the World” will also open its first ‘hybrid’ location this year in Calgary in a partnership with Lululemon that will create an interconnected retail space.
Barry’s Bootcamp opened its first Canadian location in Toronto’s Entertainment District at 310 Richmond Street West in late 2017, in an 8,000 square foot two-level space that is the largest in the company. Last week it opened its second location in Toronto’s affluent Bloor-Yorkville area. The new location is at the back end of the 100 Bloor Street West commercial podium and faces towards Cumberland Street and Village of Yorkville Park.
The new Bloor-Yorkville Barry’s Bootcamp spans about 5,000 square feet over two floors. The smaller ground floor features an entrance on Critchley Lane and a ‘Fuel Bar’ which serves nutritional items including a range of smoothies. The second level features a retail space with various merchandise including Barry’s original workout and athleisure apparel (with exclusive pieces for Yorkville) as well as Lululemon workout gear in a wholesale partnership. Upscale change room areas for men and women include high-end post-workout products for guests who have finished their workouts, including luxury Oribe products — the Richmond Street location was the first in the company to offer the Oribe line.
The second level of the Bloor-Yorkville location also feature’s two areas for workouts, including an area at the front where guests can stretch and otherwise work on flexibility in a brightly-lit area. At the back of the second floor space is Barry’s famous ‘Red Room’ workout space. The soundproof Red Room provides visitors the opportunity to participate in high-intensity interval training workouts, alternating treadmill cardio conditioning with strength training.
Top-of-the-line Woodway treadmills used are said to lessen the impact on people’s joints. Several dedicated classes throughout the day include a fitness trainer who leads the group classes — the trainer is there to challenge and encourage clients to push beyond their limits and achieve new goals. Barry’s says that the experience combines “the motivation of a personal training session with the energy of a group workout” that can be tailored for all fitness levels.
Some Barry’s Bootcamp clients go regularly, sometimes several times per week. “I go almost every day,” said Toronto-based entrepreneur Jordan Whelan, who has been frequenting the Richmond Street location with a ‘Barry’s Legend’ monthly pass. “Barry’s Bootcamp is easily the greatest workout in the world. The intense rush of endorphins completely rectifies any mental anguish I am experiencing that day,” he said. “ It is motivational. Imagine high intensity cardio meets an unrelenting life coach. The entire vibe of Barry’s is work hard get results. I identify with the notion that anywhere worth traveling in life comes with diligence,” Mr. Whelan went on to say.
According to its website, Barry’s Bootcamp classes cost $32 per session, with packages also available. A package of five classes cost $155, 10 classes cost $300, 20 classes cost $580, and 50 classes will set one back $1,360. There are also monthly memberships costing $315 (“Barry’s Star”) for 12 sessions and $415 (“Barry’s Legend”) for 30 sessions monthly.
The Bloor-Yorkville Barry’s Bootcamp is the 56th location in the world for the company, which began with a single location in West Hollywood, California, in 1998. Barry’s has since expanded with locations in several US states with a focus on California and New York, as well as partner locations in Canada, Australia, the UK, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Singapore and the UAE. The Barry’s Bootcamp website indicates that new locations will be opening in France, Qatar and Mexico.
The choice of location is important. Barry’s Bootcamp is a decidedly urban concept that locates in areas featuring an upper-income population that is able to afford its per-class and monthly fees. Toronto’s Entertainment District, for example, is home to thousands of young and upwardly mobile professionals, and is also a significant employment centre. Toronto’s Bloor-Yorkville area is known to be Canada’s wealthiest high-density neighbourhood and it’s growing quickly with several thousand more residents expected to be added over the next five years.
Canada is expected to become home to approximately 10 Barry’s Bootcamp locations. The next location to open will be in Calgary’s Mission/Cliff Bungalow area at 2308 4 Street SW in the historic Bannerman Block that was built in 1911. For the first time, Barry’s Bootcamp is partnering with Lululemon to open a space and when it’s finished later this year, both will share the building in an interconnected arrangement.
A deal for a downtown Vancouver Barry’s Bootcamp is also in the works, to be located on the ground level of a commercial building on the edge of the city’s affluent Coal Harbour neighbourhood. More details on this location will be revealed when the lease is finalized.
Other potential markets include Montreal and Edmonton, and Toronto could see two or more Barry’s Bootcamp locations open, depending on finding the right spaces.
We’ll continue to report on Barry’s Bootcamp’s expansion into the Canadian market, including the innovative first-in-the-world Lululemon partnership location that will open in several months in Calgary.
Now located in Toronto, Craig is a retail analyst and consultant at the Retail Council of Canada. He's also the Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for the past 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees. He is also President & CEO of Vancouver-based Retail Insider Media Ltd. Email Craig: firstname.lastname@example.org