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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

JD prepares to launch gym/retail hybrid in Salford, and plans 12 new sites in 2018

JD Gyms is close to establishing its first combined retail and fitness site in Salford, and is aiming to open another 12 gyms over the course of 2018.

Salford, Greater Manchester, will be the operator’s 11th site. Launching in September, the location will house JD’s traditional offering of a sports retail store with its growing health and fitness portfolio.

However, managing director Alun Peacock said the plan was more to do with the design of the site.

He told Health Club Management: “I’d love to be able to tell you it’s some strategic move beyond that, but very simply we found a space that works for JD from a retail perspective and work for JD Gyms from a gym perspective.

“That’s quite unusual, as our requirements are generally very different, so this is by no means the start of a widescale rollout of a retail/gym hybrid. We’d look to do it again if another opportunity came along that worked for both, but it isn’t a priority within our rollout.”

Peacock expects the growing chain to have 16 sites up and running by the end of 2017, with a further 10-12 launching over the following 12 months.

He said there was an “appetite to grow faster” and the resources to spend £1.5m–£2m to fit-out each new site.

But Peacock caveated that growth would be facilitated on sustainable terms, and that the brand’s biggest challenge was not compromising quality by “moving too quickly”.

“There isn’t going to be a race towards a certain number of sites,” he said. “Quality is more important than quantity for us.

“We will increase the number of openings year-on-year, but we’ll continue to grow in the same way we always have: sensible property deals in locations that offer long-term sustainability for a successful business.”

For the full Alun Peacock interview, check out the upcoming edition of Health Club Management.

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