The Manchester community has been hit hard by COVID-19. As well as social isolation and separation from our loved ones, businesses have had to adapt their practices to try and continue to sell their products and services.
In today’s blog, we wanted to highlight one of these businesses. We recently spoke to our friends at Barry’s about the impact of Coronavirus pandemic on their business and how they have adapted to helping the Manchester community with online workouts. Founded in 1998 in West Hollywood, Barry’s has spread to many places across the world and recently, they opened up in Manchester, the first outside of London.
“From the outset of the coronavirus outbreak we’ve looked to lead from the front. We were one of the first to take the decision to close our studios, ahead of the government mandate. We set ourselves apart by making a commitment at the very beginning to our community to only provide complimentary workouts until the lockdown was eased, as a way of giving back for all the support over the last 7 years. We are incredibly proud that we’ve since taught over 120 hours of totally free sessions to over 1.7million people around the world, and raised over £43k for NHS Charities Together.”
“With still a lot of uncertainty around when gyms can reopen, we felt now was the right time to introduce a paid model to protect our future as a business alongside our continuing complimentary sessions. The business will no doubt be affected by social distancing rules so it’s essential that we have digital alternatives in order to look after our team over the coming months.”
Barry’s are known for bringing the Red Room vibes to your front room, but we asked them what was different about these new 50 minute classes, compared to the ones on IG Live: “Barry’s ‘At Home’ has launched to mirror the usual Red Room experience. We are offering a full daily schedule of instructor-led 50-minute classes focused on three different offerings: Bodyweight, Bands & Weight Training. You will still be signed in by a Barry’s desker, who are on hand should clients have any questions or needs. Hosting the classes via Zoom gives us the chance to see our community, correct form, offer callouts and create that interaction we are all used to from being together in the studio. We are able to deliver personal training in a group environment that has made Barry’s famous.”
“Our weekly memberships (5 classes for £45 or 3 classes for £30) make it more accessible for those who want to commit to a regular routine. The free and shorter IG Lives will still be available for anyone who wants to get a taster of the Barry’s experience, perhaps before committing to a 50-minute virtual class.”
Throughout this pandemic, Barry’s have been committed “to make a huge financial investment in our culture”. They added that they “have used funds that were originally allocated for the construction of our newest studio, and alongside utilising the government support scheme, we have been able to top up our head office staff’s salaries to 100%. Looking after our employees have been, and will continue to be our number one priority.”
The team at Barry’s are proud of their workers at this time: “Our Barry’s UK instructors form the backbone of our business and we are delighted so many of them have committed to Barry’s At Home, as well as continuing to support our community through our other initiatives including Barry’s Cares. We always look to support our incredible team in whatever they choose to do outside of the Red Room.”
Co-Owner Sandy Macaskill had this to say about the current situation: “Our Manchester family has grown into such a vibrant and fun community. It’s amazing to stay in touch via our Instagram lives and the At Home classes, and recently clients have been sending me photos from the outside of the studio, of the scaffolding finally coming down – a major moment for us that I wish I could have experienced in real life! It won’t be long now though and I can’t wait to be back in the Red Room with everyone again. Keep being the absolute best community and in the meantime, we’ll see you in our virtual classes.”
We look forward to returning to Barry’s X MYP events in the future!