In its most unusual outside collaboration yet, Target (TGT) has teamed up with SoulCycle, the boutique chain of cycling studios notorious for the intensity, and cost, of its workouts.
The discount retailer, which has made wellness products, including fitness, a cornerstone of its turnaround strategy, said on Thursday that it would hold a 10-city tour to offer free 45-minute classes taught by SoulCycle’s instructors. Target will also offer a capsule collection, with apparel featuring SoulCycle’s logo as well as its own bullseye, including a hoodie and t-shirt.
Target has made a name for itself with many outside collaborations over the years, ranging from Isaac Mizrahi to last year’s Lilly Pulitzer collection, and has typically focused on apparel and home goods. So offering up workouts is an entirely new tactic.
But it follows the same playbook: offering a luxury product at lower prices for a limited time. (SoulCycle’s apparel costs significantly more than the $49 the hoodie is going for, such as a $158 sweatshirt.) And for Target, it’s a new way to burnish its cheap, chic cred.
“We know that wellness is top of mind for so many of our guests, especially at this time of year when people are looking for ways to reinvigorate their exercise routines” said Jeff Jones, Target’s chief marketing officer in a statement.
As for SoulCycle, which last summer filed to be listed on the stock market, the Target collaboration gives it exposure to a whole new set of potential clients, key for it to show growth potential when it gears up for its initial public offering.
People interested in taking the classes will have to sign up ahead of time, according to SoulCycle’s web site.
Target last year offered free FitBits (FIT) to all 335,000 company workers as a way to emphasize its focus on fitness. It is also working to re-energize its C9 line of athletic wear.