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Saks Teams Up With Equinox

Equinox yoga instructors, personal trainers and masseuses will be in Saks stores across the nation.

Equinox, a 44-unit health club chain, is trying to help Saks Fifth Avenue customers get to the gym in a cross-promotion.

This story first appeared in the January 7, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

This month, Equinox yoga instructors, personal trainers and masseuses will be in Saks stores in Boston; Tysons Corner, Va.; Miami; Chicago, and Dallas to share their moves with consumers. The initiative is part of the retailer’s Shape Up Make Up promotion. Equinox guest passes will be included in a gift-with-purchase multivendor goodie bag for those who shell out $50 or more at the cosmetics counter. Equinox is prepared to give away almost 20,000 guest passes.

In New York, the gwp will include a guest pass to Pure Yoga on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Equinox Holdings opened the first U.S. outpost of Asia’s premier yoga studio last year. This weekend, Pure yogis will be striking poses in Saks Fifth Avenue’s windows for four hours each day.

With the exception of the New York market, Equinox will be e-mailing to its members a 15 percent discount coupon for Saks in the five other regions. In places like Dallas, where Equinox plans to open its first location in the Highland Park section next month, and Boston, where the chain will launch its second location this spring, the Saks hookup is a branding opportunity, said Hillary Benjamin, senior director of marketing for Equinox.

“We have worked with Saks in the past in several markets, but we wanted to do something on more of a national basis,” she said. “They reached out to us and we were thrilled.”

Equinox also will be contacting SaksFirst customers in Boston and Tysons Corner with direct mail pieces that will waive the initiation fee for new Equinox members, and offer them a complimentary Pilates session. Select customers will also have the chance to try out group fitness classes at those clubs.