The Greene Town Center’s Yoga on the Square series. CONTRIBUTED

5 reasons why retailers are offering in-store fitness classes

Why hit the gym when you can just go to the mall instead?

Stores like Saks and Urban Outfitters are luring shoppers in with a new kind of trend — in-store fitness classes and wellness amenities. Here are five reasons why retailers think fitness will bring shoppers back to brick-and-mortar stores:

1. FIGHTING ONLINE SHOPPING As consumers increasingly head online to buy their purchases, retailers are scrambling to offer special in-store experiences that shoppers just can’t get online. Since the fitness and wellness industry continues to thrive in the retail industry, stores are offering yoga classes, clean-eating information sessions and meditation retreats.

2. SPECIAL AMENITIES “Saks’ New York flagship has devoted an entire floor to the 16,000 square-foot wellness sanctuary that opened in May and offers fitness classes, a salt chamber and meditation alongside other merchandise. Celebrity fitness guru Tracy Anderson was the marquee name on opening night. After a sweat session, fitness aficionados can test the latest home gym equipment like a Peloton bike, get custom-fitted for golf clubs or get their nails done — a day’s worth of self-care in one spot,” according to The Associated Press.

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3. EVERYONE WANTS ACTIVEWEAR In recent years, U.S. activewear sales have increased. Last year, sales rose 11 percent over the previous year to nearly $46 billion, according to The NPD Group, a consumer tracking service. And, those sales are up from $36.9 billion in 2014.

4. FITNESS RETAILERS Exercise brands are able to capitalize on the trend even more than some other stores. Adidas opened its Runbase store in Berlin last year, which includes training facilities and a healthy restaurant. At Nike’s SoHo store, consumers can test a pair of sneakers on the in-store basketball court, on a synthetic football field or on a treadmill that gives real-time feedback, according to The Associated Press.

5. DESTINATION EXPERIENCE The fitness and wellness trend taps into people’s desire for experiences, according to retail experts. Magdalena Kondej, head of apparel and footwear at Euromonitor, told The Associated Press it is “the prioritization of doing, seeing and feeling over having more stuff.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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