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Health Club Management

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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

The Gym Group rules out move into boutique market

The Gym Group doesn’t appear tempted to follow health club rivals such as Pure Gym into the boutique studio market, with CEO John Treharne describing such a move as “highly unlikely.”

Speaking at a press lunch yesterday (16 March) to discuss the chain’s 2015 financial results following its recent IPO, Treharne said The Gym Group plans to “stick to its knitting” and focus on the core aim of opening quality low cost gyms.

Having witnessed the successes and failures of health club industry at the turn of the century – when Treharne was founder and MD of Dragons Health Clubs – he believes that offering a clear and simple proposition to investors and consumers is the key to longevity.

“I think in the past the sector suffered from a lack of expansion discipline and a lack of brand discipline by overstretching and trying to be too many things,” he told Health Club Management.

“Having been through that, I’m eager to avoid any confusion and maintain a clear focus, so I’d say it’s very unlikely that we’ll move into the boutique space.”

Aside from the booming budget sector, boutique studios have been one of the health club industry’s biggest sources of growth since the recession, and this has caught the attention of several big chains.

Fitness First has enjoyed mixed fortunes with its heart-rate focused BEAT concept, while Pure Gym – the UK’s largest private operator – recently made a splash with its new indoor cycling studio Pure Ride. Meanwhile, Third Space – the high-end chain helmed by Colin Waggett – has also announced plans to launch up to five boutique offshoots over the next three years under the brand Another Space.

Despite this, Treharne said The Gym Group will be sticking to its primary task and said the untapped potential of the low cost sector – research suggests there is room for 1,000 budget gyms, with only 350 currently in the market – means the company is “happy to fish where the fish are.”

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The Gym Group doesn’t appear tempted to follow health club rivals such as Pure Gym into the boutique studio market, with CEO John Treharne describing such a move as “highly unlikely.”
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TVS Sports Surfaces
TVS Sports Surfaces