Exercise studio Pure Barre is adding to its hundreds of stores nationwide with the addition of a downtown studio in Ann Arbor, opening on East Liberty Street, in an aim to increase the demographics it attracts. The store is the second in Ann Arbor, with another on Oak Valley Drive.
Two years ago, Pure Barre moved to its Oak Valley Drive location after a studio on Felch Street, closer to the University of Michigan, failed to meet the company’s needs. Anna Locke, an owner of the Oak Street studio and of the new studio on East Liberty, said the location didn't provide the right amount of space.
“Our current studio started downtown on Felch Street and then we moved locations a few years ago just because of parking and our studio at the time could not fit nearly as many people as our current studio can,” Locke said. “We just outgrew that location.”
With their earlier move, however, came a loss of younger customers.
“After we moved to this current location, we lost a certain demographic,” Locke said. “We lost a lot of college students and young working professionals from downtown, so our goal going back downtown and moving into Liberty is that we are going to target that demographic and bring Pure Barre back to those people.”
Pure Barre is a barre studio that uses the ballet barre, body weights and small space movements to build lean muscle mass. The workouts are popular among some University students, such as LSA freshman Lexi Dubreuil.
“I like that it’s lower impact stuff,” Dubreuil said. “I have a lot of shin problems from running track in high school, and it gives me a way to stay toned and in shape without doing a lot of high-impact stuff.”
LSA freshman Sarah Guss, who said she plans to join Pure Barre's studio on East Liberty, echoed Dubreuil's sentiments.
“I love how challenging it is and how you are told the parts of your body that you are working out in the class. I also feel like you’re getting a great workout and it burns but you don’t break much of a sweat.”
The studio is expected to open in June.