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TRIB3 to kick-start Spanish expansion with Barcelona opening

We're taking the TRIB3 model across globally, but we're aware that you have to know what's going on with the local market
– Rod Hill

UK-based boutique studio operator TRIB3 is preparing to open its first site in Spain, ahead of an expansion programme which will look to achieve 50 new openings in the country over the next five years.

Opening on 21 May, the 420sq m (4,500sq ft), 42-capacity TRIB3 Barcelona will follow the format of offering high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts based on treadmills (cardio), resistance (weights) and intensity (heart rate).

Speaking to Health Club Management, TRIB3's president, Rod Hill, said the Barcelona studio will be a "extra special TRIB3", with added local flair.

"The concept is the same – we will have studio bootcamp Hiit classes and we're using Star Trac treadmills," Hill said.

"But we've got a few more showers than we would at a UK studio, as we know that the midday, lunch time period is a popular time for people to work out in Spain, and people want to go back to the office after the class.

"The mixology shake bar will also be the same, but we're including a couple of bespoke drinks made for the Barcelona market in mind."

Hill says that the adjustments are part of a strategy to fine-tune each new site to cater for regional markets.

"The idea is that we're taking the TRIB3 model across globally, but we're aware that you have to know what's going on with the local market," he said.

"We know that 90 per cent can be exactly the same in every country, but that 10 per cent can really make the difference. We're aware we need to be open culturally to the small nuances you can find in different markets. But the main product will be the same."

The company plans to drive its Spanish growth through a mixture of corporate-owned and franchised-owned studios.

"Our business plan for Spain is to open 50 TRIB3s in five years," Hill said.

"Seven of those will be corporate-owned, and the rest will be franchised sites.

"We will look to use the corporate-owned clubs to open regional areas, so we will put our 'own club' in a regional capital and use it to introduce the brand and use it as a base for expansion."

"We just signed our first franchise partners and we are looking for two or three large regional agreements for development plans, so we are moving quite quickly at the moment."

The Barcelona opening will be followed by a studio in Madrid at the end of August.

In total, the company is looking to have between 10 and 15 studios open in Spain by the end of 2019.

Hill says that TRIB3's expansion coincides with rapid growth in the Spanish fitness market.

"The market in Spain is warm. The financial crisis really interrupted the growth in Spain in many ways and the fitness chains haven't yet achieved the mass that the UK has, for example.

"There aren't many club operators with 50 sites in the country – and certainly none with 100.

"But that is changing, the Spanish market is now experiencing a growth spurt. The likes of Anytime Fitness and Snap Fitness are now expanding and it's becoming a recognised sector for investors. That means it's a good time for a boutique offer like ours to grow."

TRIB3 currently operates three studios in the UK and one in Moscow.

As well as Spain, TRIB3 has franchise agreements in place in Finland and China and is also planning to enter the French market.

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UK-based Boutique studio operator TRIB3 is preparing to open its first site in Spain, ahead of an expansion programme which will look to achieve 50 new openings in the country over the next five years.
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