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The Bar Method Headed to Japan in First Global Deal

The Bar Method Headed to Japan in First Global Deal

The Barre brand is gearing up for international expansion under parent company Self Esteem Brands, owner of Anytime Fitness

The Bar Method is expanding beyond North America and plans to open its first Tokyo studios early next year, following an agreement with Fast Fitness Japan (FFJ), which acquired the master franchise rights to the Barre brand.

The Bar Method was acquired by Self Esteem Brands in 2019, which owns a portfolio of fitness and personal care franchise brands including Anytime Fitness, Basecamp Fitness, Sumhiit Fitness and Waxing the City. The company recently merged with Orangetheory Fitness and has said it plans to open more than 10,000 fitness, health and wellness clubs worldwide by 2030.

“This is an exciting new chapter for The Bar Method,” said Stephanie Schon, The Bar Method’s president. “With over 20 years of experience in strengthening muscles, minds and overall well-being in North America, we are eager to share our scientific method with a global audience to embolden even more individuals to reach their fitness goals.”

Schon added that The Bar Method is thrilled to partner with FJJ, which is the master franchisee of over 1,000 Anytime Fitness clubs across Japan and Germany.

The Barre brand, which offers a blended trifecta of yoga, Pilates and strength training, grew its class attendees to 1.6 million in 2023, up 14% from 2022. The Bar Method members can select from a classic interval-training workout, Bar Strength, Bar Method Cardio, yoga-infused Bar Flow, Bar Restore, Bar Combo and specialty barre classes such as a Bar Basics class for foundational skills and Bar Prenatal. 

credit: Self Esteem Brands

“We are excited to introduce this exceptional exercise program to a wider audience in Japan, particularly women, in order to increase Japan’s fitness participation rate and promote the adoption and establishment of exercise habits,” said FFJ CEO Kio Yamabe. “We are confident that this will be an exciting fitness experience for the Japanese people.”

Thinking Worldwide

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As The Bar Method prepares for its international debut next year, Self Esteem Brand’s other fitness offerings are also making waves across the globe.

Anytime Fitness, Self Esteem Brands’ biggest star, is plotting its growth strategy in Dubai and across the Middle East, among other territories.

Sander van den Born, executive vice president of international for Self Esteem Brands, has told Athletech News that the region might also be a good fit for The Bar Method, especially as more women embrace fitness activities.

“The females in the GCC – in particular, Saudi Arabia – there’s been quite an evaluation in the way they’re being seen in the community,” Born said. “They can drive now. They have far more freedom than they used to have. They go out and are interested in sports, health and wellness. So we do feel that some of our offerings are very suitable for the female population in Saudi Arabia.”

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