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Health Club Management

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Anytime Fitness to open 90 UK franchises this year

Anytime Fitness plans to have 200 UK franchises by the end of the year as it accelerates its growth strategy.

The company, which opened its 100th UK club in North West London in December, has 113 franchises in the country and is confident of hitting its target for 2017 despite economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Speaking to Health Club Management, Brett Edwards, Anytime Fitness UK general manager, said: "We've accelerated growth at the moment. We aim to have 200 clubs open by the end of the year. We are very comfortable with the properties we have and the ones we are negotiating on.

"We will open 90 clubs this year, with a target of 550 clubs by the early 2020s."

The business, which has 100,000 UK members, employs five acquisition managers in its property team looking for sites typically between 4,500sq ft (418sq m) to 5,000sq ft (465sq m).

The process from finding a property to opening it usually takes between six and eight months.

With initial costs to set up a franchise costing between £300,000 (US$373,500, €353,000) and £350,000 (US$435,800, €412,000) before rent and staffing expenditure, more than £30m (US$37.4m, €35.3m) will be spent on new locations this year.

Edwards said: "We are looking from top to bottom for properties – England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. We are seeing more activity in the North where there are more properties available. When we first started everyone wanted to be in London but you can run a really profitable club outside of London if you find a great town.

"The fitness sector is growing. The government is promoting wellbeing and we see this as a positive opportunity. While we have Brexit and there is a lot of uncertainty, we are comfortable that our model will stand up to a recession. We are confident the sector will grow. We are confident we will ride through any recession."

The Anytime Fitness franchise launched in the US in 2002 and has more than 3,000 clubs worldwide. It opened its first UK club in October 2010.

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Anytime Fitness plans to have 200 UK franchises by the end of the year as it accelerates its growth strategy.
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Elevate Arena
Elevate Arena