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Global fitness label launches flagship gym in Australia

Business

Global fitness clothing brand Ryderwear will open its first gym and bricks-and-mortar store in its hometown of Adelaide, South Australia next month as it looks for ways to expand its empire.

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The gym and retail store are set to open in the Adelaide suburb of Flinders Park on February 6 while the Ryderwear headquarters and warehouse will remain in nearby Beverley.

Previously, Ryderwear products have been sold through distributors and online.

Ryderwear chief marketing officer Mal Chia said the new studio, which was a year in the works and was still being built, was a natural progression for the business that had gained a cult following for its fitness clothing, particularly in the United States.

“It’s sort of like an Apple Store, where it is the physical embodiment of what the brand is all about, having an elite training space, with a retail store attached to it,” Chia said.

“We believe in living your best life through fitness, obviously the apparel being about what you wear and also the app as well. Now it’s about having a place where you train.”

Ryderwear was founded in Adelaide in 2009 by bodybuilder David Lukic and his now wife Natalie Lukic after the pair noticed a gap in the fitness clothing market. In the past decade, the company has grown from two employees to 60.

The brand began by developing a range of apparel designed to mould to athletes’ bodies rather than hanging loose, which was the style of the time. It soon gained a cult following among weightlifters and bodybuilders in the United States after the launch of its signature D-Mak lifting shoe.

Ryderwear has since partnered with more than 500 influencers across social media platforms, including Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok.

Last year it launched its first workout app, PUSHH.

Chia said the brand’s latest venture would go ahead despite continuously evolving coronavirus restrictions, with the fitness market thriving.

He said casual passes, as well as flexible annual and weekly memberships would be available with people able to sign up through the Ryderwear website.

“We will primarily be a strength-focused gym and will have a huge open-plan, purpose-built gym spanning 775 sqm, with a diverse layout of the best Life Fitness and Hammer Strength gear on the market,” he said.

“There will also be a fully-equipped outdoor gym with squat racks, sled track, boxing bags and functional equipment.”

The gym and store are set to be open 24/7.

Fitness facilities were among a raft of businesses forced to close when South Australia introduced lockdown in response to coronavirus lockdowns in April and November.

Since re-opening for the second time in late November, they have been forced to maintain a density of one-person-per-two-square-metres. Gyms also must have a contact tracing system in place.

“In South Australia, while there has been the odd scare here and there, we’ve been very fortunate. So that gave us the confidence that we’d be able to cope,” Chia said.

“We’re also putting the proper precautions in place to make sure we’re able to deal with anything like that.

“Looking at the market as well, the appetite for fitness has never been higher. That’s only going to continue to grow.”

According to Fitness Australia, the number of Australians increasing their exercise habits has surged in the past 12 months.

Data from the industry body showed the number of Australians meeting the physical activity guidelines increased from 34.1 per cent to almost 75 per cent of adults according to a recent survey.

Ryderwear also launched a workout app early in 2020, just before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, which was tailored towards elite gym-goers.

Chia said the response from users during the pandemic showed a need for at-home workouts, rather than purely gym-based exercises.

He said the PUSHH app had subsequently been redeveloped to target a broader female market and had been relaunched last week for iPhones, with an Android app set to go live next week.

“We created an app that was very much about the gym experience. Shortly after, with Covid and the gyms closing, we very quickly pivoted the app and changed it to being about home workouts,” Chia said.

“The underlying engine of it is still the same but with a clearer focus about who it’s for.

“(It’s) very much tailored towards women who are looking to get into resistance training.”

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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