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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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Bricks family pursue modernising agenda at Brick Bodies

Many a family business has looked to keep itself fresh by handing control down from parents to children at the right moment, and that has been the strategy of US gym chain Brick Bodies as it seeks to make itself "hip and cool and cutting edge again".

Industry veterans Victor and Lynne Brick told Health Club Management in an exclusive interview that while they remain shareholders in the business, their daughter Vicki, who was named CEO of Brick Bodies in 2015, is "reshaping the company".

The organisation is looking to grow: it has four large, full-service clubs in the Baltimore area; it is preparing to open a fifth and has decided that it wants to expand further.

Lynne Brick said: “At the beginning of 2015, our daughter Vicki was named CEO of Brick Bodies. She’s now in the process of redesigning the business to be hip and cool and cutting edge again.”

The new clubs will have multiple pools, multiple group exercise and small group training rooms, and will focus heavily on group training.

"Vicki is bringing boutique concepts into each of those group exercise spaces, creating mini-tribes under one roof," she went on. "She’s also taking out some of the basketball court space to create a huge personal training centre with turf and all sort of new tools. She’s reshaping the company."

The need for fresh ideas had become apparent over a period of time, said Victor Brick: "We started losing momentum slowly at first, but then we realised we had to do something. We had to preserve the USP of Brick Bodies: the fact it’s a local, family-run company in Baltimore – a place that treats you right and where everyone knows your name. But we also needed to be innovative and cutting edge, constantly adapting and experimenting. That’s where Vicki comes in."

He reflected that the full-service part of the health club industry is now very much a "young person’s game", adding: "You need to be part of the tech generation. You have to be up on the latest and greatest programming, travelling the world to see new concepts in action.

"It used to be that a new programme would come out every couple of years. Now it’s every couple of months. Vicki has the energy to keep up with all that and give Brick Bodies the attention it deserves to grow and thrive."

While daughter Vicki has the reins, her parents also own 60 Planet Fitness franchise clubs, with designs to increase that to as many as 300.

"The thing is, it’s a phenomenal time to be in the fitness industry," said Victor Bricks. "It’s reached its tipping point. The one thing we all need to keep in mind is simplicity: it’s often the most important factor for people in this busy world."

To read the entire interview, see the February 2019 issue of Health Club Management here.

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