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Chain Store Legislation Could Stifle Your SoulCycle Fix

SoulCycle on Union Street. Image via <a href="https://www.soul-cycle.com">SoulCycle</a>
SoulCycle on Union Street. Image via SoulCycle

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After months of buzz about changes to the city's chain store rules, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will finally consider proposals to the modify the formula retail laws this week. As you've probably heard by now, Supervisor Eric Mar's legislation would extend formula retail restrictions to companies that have 11 or more stores worldwide. (The current rule only counts chain store locations in the U.S.) Mar's proposal would impose formula retail restrictions on the rapidly-changing Mid-Market area, and "require applicants proposing 20,000 square feet of space or more to hire a consultant to perform an economic analysis of how the business would impact neighboring businesses," the Examiner reports.

The chain store changes would also apply to fitness businesses. Right now, the city's formula retail policies exclude certain common commercial uses like professional or medical offices, salons, and gyms, but the Examiner says Mar's proposal would bring check cashing, massage parlors, tobacco sales and gyms under the chain store umbrella. For home-grown fitness businesses like Avant-Barre, that's no problem, but the change could be an issue for chain-fitness businesses like SoulCycle and Barry's Bootcamp. As we mentioned in September, SoulCycle is eyeing the former Diesel store/Bank of America space in the Castro for a third location, and —judging by the number of sold-out classes— it's only a matter of time before Barry's opens a second studio.

· San Francisco to strengthen chain store restrictions [The Examiner]
· Five Things to Know About SF's Formula Retail Policy [Racked]