Luxury services are offering private format leisure activities.
What is the latest luxury that consumers are shelling out for? Exclusive, privatized ‘experience enablers’ that connect consumers with the everyday activities they miss most.
Gymguyz, a Plainview, New York-based personal training company, offers distanced personal training sessions in homes and yards at a rate of $70 to $100 per session. The company’s mobile fitness concept brings state-of-the-art equipment and expert coaches to customers’ front doors. The service is clearly in high demand; the company signed 17 new franchise deals in six markets across the US in the first half of 2020.
For those looking for some rest and relaxation, on-demand pampering services bring the spa home. MySpa2Go sends manicurists and masseuses to customers’ homes. The mobile salon has seen a recent surge in business in wealthy vacation enclaves like Nantucket and the Hamptons; according to MySpa2Go’s owner, Lori Traub, demand for the company’s services quadrupled after the pandemic hit. Shortcut is a men’s barber service that lets clients book an at-home trim. The company, which operates in 25 cities across the US—including New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Boston—has seen a 600% growth in business between February and May, 2020.
But if being at home doesn’t cut it, high-end services are letting customers rent out entire venues for a hyper-exclusive experience. Sensei Lanai, a Four Seasons wellness resort in Hawaii, has transformed into a private spa. For $600, guests get two hours of exclusive access to 1,000-square-foot bungalows outfitted with treatment rooms, soaking tubs, saunas and pools.
Swimply is the Airbnb of private pools. The company connects pool owners with those looking to cool off in the heat of summer to rent backyard pools for $45 to $60 per hour. In May 2020, the company announced that will be launching Joyspace, a new platform with a similar business model that will let customers rent private spaces beyond pools, like tennis and basketball courts, home gyms, backyards and private boats, on an hourly basis.
For anyone tired of watching movies on their couches, cinemas are letting viewers rent out the entire theatre for private viewings. Moviehouse & Eatery, a luxury theater chain in Texas, is making its auditoriums available for $350 per showing, while at a small independent movie theatre in Zephyrhills, Florida, cinephiles can view classic films like Back to the Future, Jurassic Park and Jaws in their own theatre.
Activities like going to the movies, getting a manicure or working out—which were once relatively accessible, commonplace pastimes among the middle class—are increasingly becoming a luxury available only to those willing and able to pay a premium. As long as crowds continue to pose health dangers, and with many people still wary of public spaces, these exclusive ‘experience enablers’ are transforming everyday experiences into an elite privilege.