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News

Virgin Active co-founder receives investment boost to roll-out Sweat! gyms

We set-up Sweat! because we felt that the budget gym sector lacked a fresh, fun and safe environment for women
– Frank Reed, chief executive, Sweat!

Frank Reed’s gym chain Sweat! has received £3.75m (US$5m, €4.2m) worth of equity investment that will see a roll-out of five new clubs in the next 12 months – doubling its portfolio of sites.

The deal with Puma Investments includes an option for a further equity investment of up to £2.5m (US$3.4m, €2.8m) after 12 months.

Since launching at the end of 2013, Sweat! has focused on attracting female customers.

Sweat! says it has 600 to 800 visits to each of its five gyms every day and a customer base that is 55 per cent female, with most women attending two to three times per week on average.

Welcoming the investment from Puma, Reed, who co-founded Virgin Active in 1997, said: “We set-up Sweat! because we felt the budget gym sector lacked a fresh, fun and safe environment for women.

"Sweat! appeals to both men and women who want to feel more comfortable about going to the gym."

Puma Investments chief executive David Kaye added: “Sweat! is an exciting business with an innovative approach to its market and we're delighted to be investing in its future growth.”

In October, Sweat! agreed a partnership deal with Debenhams to trial gyms at three of its department stores from early 2018.

In October the chain opened its fifth standalone gym in Chelmsford, adding to existing sites in Walsall, Sheffield, Glasgow and Greater Manchester.

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Les Mills
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Features
People
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Legal liability
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For gyms looking to engage with this demographic, they need to make socialising part of the mix… they at least need to have somewhere where they can offer people a cup of tea after the class
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Featured suppliers
Featured supplier: Stay ahead of the game with SPATEX 2018
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Property & Tenders
Diary dates
30 Jan - 01 Feb 2018
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
05 Feb 2018
Chesford Grange Hotel, Kenilworth, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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Les Mills