THE ROOM Abu Dhabi,
a Belgian / Dutch boutique fitness and lifestyle operator, in the
capital for 7 years, was closed from March 22nd till July 5th 2020 and
saw its revenue halt overnight. For the last two years, the company had
been preparing for growth through a studio franchising model and
launched at the Belgian Franchising Day (https://www.fbf-bff.be/)
end of January 2020. As the opening of new studios was not going to be
an option for an unforeseeable future and the current business was
closed, the owners, Mim Kleiberg (NL) and Peter Pastijn (BEL), decided
to look at their options and started an online fitness platform
overnight, with the indispensable help of Rebecca Pittam.
The initial online services served a great community purpose for a segment of the existing customer base and kept the business from failing. However, it most definitely would not have allowed for the survival of the company in the long term, in part as a large group of the current clients prefer the real-time interaction with trainers and friends and also as the competition of free online fitness services is vast.
As many fitness companies found their way online, the key was to define their true USP. Being at the heart a very strong Indoor cycling provider with their brand THE CYCLING ROOM, they made agreements with an industry leading bike manufacturer and combined the service of top notch live and pre-recorded classes with the rental and sales of indoor bikes.As with the brick and mortar studio THE ROOM, a full range of classes such as Pilates, Yoga, Shape, Pump, Zumba as well as health seminars were offered to offer a truly holistic online platform called THE ROOM Online.