Absolute Yoga expanding health and lifestyle chain

Absolute Yoga Co is transforming itself from a yoga studio to a health and lifestyle company, with an aim to triple sales to 750 million baht over the next five years.

The Absolute Yoga studio chain is being renamed to "Absolute You" to support future domestic and international expansion. The company will officially introduce the new brand in January, said founder and managing director Benjaporn Karoonkornsakul.

"We will not only offer yoga or Pilates classes, but also expand to apparel, food and wellness management, and resorts to build business sustainability in the long term," she said.

The company is restructuring its organisation to prepare itself for an aggressive expansion.

It now offers "Absolute Cycle" for rhythm cycling, which is already popular in many countries.

Ms Benjaporn said rhythm cycling is a new exercise trend from New York. Celebrities and Hollywood stars use the technique. Rhythm cycling is expected to grow faster than yoga because of its appeal to all ages.

Currently, the market size of yoga and Pilates in Thailand is 400-500 million baht but it is expected that rhythm cycling will be worth 1 billion baht within the next five years, up from 30 million baht at the present.

The company has already opened two rhythm cycling studios in the past few months. It plans to open five new rhythm cycling branches next year, and around 20 rhythm cycling studios are scheduled to open in 2018.

The company plans to team up with brand agency partners in the UK to open a flagship studio for rhythm cycling in upscale areas of London next year.

The total expansion will require an investment of 200 million baht.

Apart from its own expansion, the company also plans to franchise the Absolute You brand in the middle of next year. Investors have to pay a 10 million baht franchise fee for running Absolute You branches.

Absolute You Management Asia Co, has recently been set up to sell yoga studio know-how through franchising.

The company also plans to open Absolute Cycle Academy, inviting international instructors to train local instructors in order to enhance their skills and standards.

Absolute Yoga was established in 2002 to provide hot yoga for the first time in Thailand.

Currently, there are about nine Absolute Yoga studios in Thailand and one studio in the Netherlands, providing yoga and Pilates classes.

Apart from yoga and Pilates, the company also provides wellness services under Absolute Sanctuary and food delivery under Absolute Fit Food. It will soon extend itself to fashion under Absolute Fashion brand.

Absolute Yoga Co's revenue is expected to reach 240-270 million baht this year and increase to 350 million in 2017 and 480-530 million in 2018.

In five years, its revenue is forecast to reach 750-850 million baht.

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Writer: Pitsinee Jitpleecheep
Position: Business Reporter