Equinox prez launches wellness chain with eye on next health craze

A top executive at the upscale gym chain Equinox believes he has his finger on the next health craze—and several big backers agree.

Jeffrey Weinhaus, Equinox’s president and chief development officer, has launched a chain of stores in the city and plans to expand it nationally.

The locations, branded Clean Market, offer health and wellness products including high-end cosmetics, vitamins and supplements, a vegan food and smoothie bar, and treatments that have come into fashion in recent years, such as cyrotherapy, infrared saunas and intravenous infusions.

Weinhaus co-founded the store with Lily Kunin, a health blogger with a large social media following. Kunin helped curate the offerings.

"I saw a lot of the components in this store offered separately in places like Los Angeles," Weinhaus said. "I realized there was really nothing like this here in the city and nothing that put all these things that are happening in the health and wellness space together in one space."

Clean Market opened its first location last year on East 54th Street in Midtown, taking 3,500 square feet.

In November the brand will unveil another outpost at Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan, Weinhaus said. It has also leased a space at 40 Bleeker St. and 1177 Broadway, the latter of which is owned by retail landlord Jack Terzi, an investor in Clean Market. The downtown stores will open early next year.

"The idea is to get to five or six well-situated locations and then go outside of New York with the next few stores to prove it works in other major markets, whether that’s Boston, Dallas or another large city," Weinhaus said, noting the brand is close to a deal to open a space on the Las Vegas Strip early next year.

The wellness sector has taken off in the city. Major landlords have sought to create meditation and nap rooms and boast about features such as large windows that promote natural light in the workspace and such other health-promoting amenities as robust air filtration.

"More people want to incorporate healthy habits while on the go and feel their best in this urban environment," Kunin said.

Weinhaus said he is growing Clean Market as a "passion project" that he will pursue in his spare time outside of his role at Equinox. The gym chain’s chief executive, Harvey Spevak, is a seed investor in the retail chain along with Able Partners, a private equity fund founded and run by Lisa Blau. Her […]

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