Remember last month when a bunch of people got really upset that the billionaire who owns a group of trendy gyms was hosting a fundraiser for President Donald Trump in the Hamptons? Well, their calls for a boycott of at least one of those exercise companies, SoulCycle, seems to be working.
According to data by a web analytics company reported by Recode on Thursday, SoulCycle attendance has declined in the weeks following the news of Stephen Ross, who owns both Equinox and SoulCycle, hosting that August 7 fundraiser. From Recode, emphasis mine:
During the week that ended on Sunday, August 11, which includes dates both before and after the news, SoulCycle attendance declined about 1 percent compared with the same week a year earlier. That’s been followed with consistent declines of 6 percent to 7.5 percent in subsequent weeks. The data only includes SoulCycle locations across the US that were open last year, in order to be able to make the comparison.
SoulCycle didn’t provide comment to Recode about the data, and the site, with the firm Earnest Research, only looked at the spin class chain, not Equinox. But Earnest’s lead data scientist Ried Niziak told Recode that the research company believes it achieved “near-perfect clarity” on SoulCycle attendance, so that’s something.
At the time of the reporting of Ross’ fundraiser for Trump, Ross said in a statement that he doesn’t agree with Trump on everything, but that he has a concern for “creating jobs” and the economy. SoulCycle and Equinox jointly distanced itself from Ross’ politics, saying they didn’t support the event and would always stay true to values of tolerance and equality.
The Atlantic also reported today that Wharton professor Maurice Schweitzer, who had initially predicted little impact from the boycott, called SoulCycle’s attendance drop “larger than we would typically expect,” while Paul Koku, a business professor at Florida Atlantic University, told the magazine the numbers were “impressively high” and “very compelling.”
Meanwhile, one former SoulCycle customer told the Atlantic that boycotting the company after years of spinning came with other benefits:
After years of spinning, Zuppello’s local studio on Long Island has faded to a metaphorical blip in the rearview mirror of her actual bicycle. “I bike all over, and it’s far cheaper than SoulCycle,” she says. “And no one keeps my money if I decide last-minute to skip my ride.”
Social justice reasons be damned, I guess.