Fitness

This Is Why So Many Philly Boutique Fitness Studios Have Credit Expiration Policies

Philly fitness studio owners reveal the strategies behind the policies.


class credit expiration

Why do studios have a class credit expiration policy? We asked. Photograph via Getty Images/
gradyreese

If you’ve ever purchased a class package at a boutique fitness studio, you are probably well aware that those credits have a shelf life. Whether the class credits are good for a few months or a year, at some point, they expire. This means that if you don’t get all your workouts in, then — as with the spinach you forgot about at the back of your fridge — you’ll end up paying for something you didn’t use.

Of course, not all studios have expiration dates for their class credits. Callie Kim of Tuck Barre & Yoga says her studio has had a strict anti-expiration-date policy since they opened. “We’re not selling vegetables that are going to go bad in a few days, so why put our clients in a ‘use it or lose it’ situation just to squeeze an extra dollar out of them?” she says.

That said, there are plenty of business reasons why studios need to implement credit expiration dates. If you, like us, have ever looked at your account and realized you’ve got five classes expiring in three days (whoops), then read on to understand why these policies exist.

They keep you accountable

Shoshana Katz, owner of BPM Fitness looks at such expiration dates as a motivating factor for her clients. “The goal of people buying packs is for them to USE them,” she points out. “Expiration dates are there to encourage our crew to show up, use the packs and take care of themselves. We want you here!”

They come with financial incentives for the customer

Katz also brings up the fact, that when buying in bulk, clients get incentives, such as a reduced rate of the individual class. They do expire, yes, but they also cost less per class. “Packages are meant to be purchased and used, not saved for an extended period of time,” she adds.

They help with business sustainability

Obviously, making money is another factor. Business is business, after all. Katz points out the obvious: that studios like them make money off of selling packages and classes. “If we just let things go and people use packs for however long they wanted to, in some situations, we would get seriously taken advantage of,” she says. “I can’t tell you how many times I have found people making duplicate accounts to snag an additional ‘Buy One, Get One’ for their first class, or our intro offer which is five for $75. It is a really shitty reality, but it happens.”

They help owners keep track of how well they are doing

Ali Jackson, owner of Never Give Up Training, points out that expiring credit policies are key for financial forecasting and goal-setting. “We need to see what the projected sales are, past sales, current sales, when expiration dates are lapsing, who is renewing and who isn’t, etc., so that we can grow!” she explains.

Never Give Up Training currently offers several types of class and session packages, expiring anywhere from 30 to 90 days. By taking inventory of how many people are using their credits and who are not, they can try to figure out where they can do better. Why did or didn’t people purchase more credits? Why aren’t they using them? “These expiration dates not only help us with our stability and growth, but also help us improve retention and customer service,” explains Jackson.


IN THIS SECTION