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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

HCM People: Mahrya Abdulla & Shahnaan MoosaOwners, Retrofit

We decided to build a facility that encompasses all the parts of gyms we’ve loved

Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 6
Mahrya Abdulla and Shahnaan Moosa are entrepreneurs building their Retrofit brand / photo: Retrofit
Mahrya Abdulla and Shahnaan Moosa are entrepreneurs building their Retrofit brand / photo: Retrofit
In today’s world, physical health and mental health have never been more important and fitness is pivotal to both of these

Tell us about Retrofit
It’s a new boutique club in South Kensington, London, with a gym and ‘Retrocafe’ at street level and boxing, cycling and yoga studios below ground.

My husband Shahnaan Moosa and I raised a £400,000 loan to fund the development. The club is around 9,000 sq ft and has a membership capacity of between 800 and 1,000.

What’s the dream?
We’ve always shared a passion for fitness, but trained in completely different ways at different gyms across the UK and in different parts of the world.

At the beginning of 2020, we decided to build a facility that encompasses all the parts of the gyms that we’ve loved. With this in mind, Retrofit London was born as a boutique-style fitness club where casual gym goers and hardcore athletes can train under the same roof with the best equipment.

What makes you different and special?
An affordable premium service. There’s a plethora of low budget operators in the area, and on the other end, very highly priced operators, so our goal is to bridge the gap between the two and provide a luxury facility at an affordable price.

Our member journey and community feel sets us apart from similar providers. We’re also proud to have one of the first Technogym Skillbike Studios in London and one of the first Technogym Biocircuits in England.

What are the membership rates?
We create bespoke personalised packages for our members. We have a flexible monthly contract, which gives members full access to the gym, as well as group exercise classes. We also offer a PT membership, priced depending on each individual’s needs and goals. In short, there’s an option for everyone!

What were your priorities when deciding on gym layout?
The project actually began pre-COVID and our initial priorities were working with our contractor, Fit Out Management, to maximise functional space, while maintaining a natural flow-through.

COVID-19 restrictions meant adjustments had to be made, such as prioritising a one-way system. This resulted in changes to the equipment layout and the removal of some pieces to allow a safe distance to be kept when training.

It was also important to us that members had an area where they could relax and socialise, so we added our Retrocafe, where members can grab a smoothie or healthy snack.

How will you evolve the offering?
We aim to replace our equipment every five years to make sure we have the latest and best technology on the market. As a club, we’ll be doing monthly challenges, for our staff and members, to develop member relationships and motivate.

We’re always on the lookout for pieces of kit we can add to improve our member journey.

Feedback is something we take very seriously and when our members request something, we listen.

Tell us about the secondary spend
It represents about 10 per cent of our turnover – this includes our café and two treatment rooms, one of which we’re renting out to The French Touch Physio and members get a £10 discount per session. The other will soon be rented to a sports massage therapist.

Who’s your typical customer?
We don’t have a typical customer per se. Our members range from 20 – 70-years-of-age, with the majority being in between 30 and 40 and are working professionals who either live or work in the South Kensington area in London.

What are your business goals?
To provide a safe, inclusive environment for members, where we can break the boundaries of indoor training, together as a community. We aim to create a bespoke personalised service, so each and everyone’s fitness goals are achieved.

Do you plan to expand?
Yes. This is just the beginning. We aim to expand our business, first around London, and then around the rest of the UK.

How and why did you get into the industry?
In today’s world, physical health, as well as mental health, has never been so important. Fitness is pivotal to both of these. It’s not just about going to the gym to do a workout anymore, it’s about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and getting members feeling confident and happy in their own skin.

What’s the secret to you working together as a couple?
Quite simply, it’s a shared passion. We have separate workloads and each have our own roles within the company – most of the time it’s as though we’ve had separate working days which we can discuss at the end of it.

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs who want to open their own health club?
Patience is a virtue! Be prepared to change and adapt the way you approach the business, as the fitness industry is always growing and changing. It’s important to stay ahead of the game and think of fresh ideas to separate yourself from competitors.

The Retrofit model is to create an ‘affordable premium’ service / photo: Retrofit
The Retrofit model is to create an ‘affordable premium’ service / photo: Retrofit
The location in London’s South Kensington is planned as the first of many / photo: Retrofit
The location in London’s South Kensington is planned as the first of many / photo: Retrofit
The aim is to offer a safe and inclusive environment and create a personalised service / photo: Retrofit
The aim is to offer a safe and inclusive environment and create a personalised service / photo: Retrofit
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/840686_935161.jpg
The owners of Retrofit, Mahrya Abdulla & Shahnaan Moosa, raised a £400,000 loan to fund the development of their club
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Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Fitness equipment
Precor: Fitness equipment
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

features

HCM People: Mahrya Abdulla & Shahnaan MoosaOwners, Retrofit

We decided to build a facility that encompasses all the parts of gyms we’ve loved

Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 6
Mahrya Abdulla and Shahnaan Moosa are entrepreneurs building their Retrofit brand / photo: Retrofit
Mahrya Abdulla and Shahnaan Moosa are entrepreneurs building their Retrofit brand / photo: Retrofit
In today’s world, physical health and mental health have never been more important and fitness is pivotal to both of these

Tell us about Retrofit
It’s a new boutique club in South Kensington, London, with a gym and ‘Retrocafe’ at street level and boxing, cycling and yoga studios below ground.

My husband Shahnaan Moosa and I raised a £400,000 loan to fund the development. The club is around 9,000 sq ft and has a membership capacity of between 800 and 1,000.

What’s the dream?
We’ve always shared a passion for fitness, but trained in completely different ways at different gyms across the UK and in different parts of the world.

At the beginning of 2020, we decided to build a facility that encompasses all the parts of the gyms that we’ve loved. With this in mind, Retrofit London was born as a boutique-style fitness club where casual gym goers and hardcore athletes can train under the same roof with the best equipment.

What makes you different and special?
An affordable premium service. There’s a plethora of low budget operators in the area, and on the other end, very highly priced operators, so our goal is to bridge the gap between the two and provide a luxury facility at an affordable price.

Our member journey and community feel sets us apart from similar providers. We’re also proud to have one of the first Technogym Skillbike Studios in London and one of the first Technogym Biocircuits in England.

What are the membership rates?
We create bespoke personalised packages for our members. We have a flexible monthly contract, which gives members full access to the gym, as well as group exercise classes. We also offer a PT membership, priced depending on each individual’s needs and goals. In short, there’s an option for everyone!

What were your priorities when deciding on gym layout?
The project actually began pre-COVID and our initial priorities were working with our contractor, Fit Out Management, to maximise functional space, while maintaining a natural flow-through.

COVID-19 restrictions meant adjustments had to be made, such as prioritising a one-way system. This resulted in changes to the equipment layout and the removal of some pieces to allow a safe distance to be kept when training.

It was also important to us that members had an area where they could relax and socialise, so we added our Retrocafe, where members can grab a smoothie or healthy snack.

How will you evolve the offering?
We aim to replace our equipment every five years to make sure we have the latest and best technology on the market. As a club, we’ll be doing monthly challenges, for our staff and members, to develop member relationships and motivate.

We’re always on the lookout for pieces of kit we can add to improve our member journey.

Feedback is something we take very seriously and when our members request something, we listen.

Tell us about the secondary spend
It represents about 10 per cent of our turnover – this includes our café and two treatment rooms, one of which we’re renting out to The French Touch Physio and members get a £10 discount per session. The other will soon be rented to a sports massage therapist.

Who’s your typical customer?
We don’t have a typical customer per se. Our members range from 20 – 70-years-of-age, with the majority being in between 30 and 40 and are working professionals who either live or work in the South Kensington area in London.

What are your business goals?
To provide a safe, inclusive environment for members, where we can break the boundaries of indoor training, together as a community. We aim to create a bespoke personalised service, so each and everyone’s fitness goals are achieved.

Do you plan to expand?
Yes. This is just the beginning. We aim to expand our business, first around London, and then around the rest of the UK.

How and why did you get into the industry?
In today’s world, physical health, as well as mental health, has never been so important. Fitness is pivotal to both of these. It’s not just about going to the gym to do a workout anymore, it’s about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and getting members feeling confident and happy in their own skin.

What’s the secret to you working together as a couple?
Quite simply, it’s a shared passion. We have separate workloads and each have our own roles within the company – most of the time it’s as though we’ve had separate working days which we can discuss at the end of it.

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs who want to open their own health club?
Patience is a virtue! Be prepared to change and adapt the way you approach the business, as the fitness industry is always growing and changing. It’s important to stay ahead of the game and think of fresh ideas to separate yourself from competitors.

The Retrofit model is to create an ‘affordable premium’ service / photo: Retrofit
The Retrofit model is to create an ‘affordable premium’ service / photo: Retrofit
The location in London’s South Kensington is planned as the first of many / photo: Retrofit
The location in London’s South Kensington is planned as the first of many / photo: Retrofit
The aim is to offer a safe and inclusive environment and create a personalised service / photo: Retrofit
The aim is to offer a safe and inclusive environment and create a personalised service / photo: Retrofit
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/840686_935161.jpg
The owners of Retrofit, Mahrya Abdulla & Shahnaan Moosa, raised a £400,000 loan to fund the development of their club
Latest News
Peloton has completed the merging of its commercial operations with Precor, the equipment brand it ...
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Half of UK adults aren't happy with their physical fitness levels, according to a study ...
Latest News
Temporary measures brought in to support businesses in the UK from insolvency during the pandemic ...
Latest News
Nadine Dorries has replaced Oliver Dowden as the Secretary of State for Digital, Media, Culture ...
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In a major move against the gym market, Apple has revealed a number of upgrades ...
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Physical activity professionals in England will soon be able to access free, one-to-one learning with ...
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Surge integrates Fisikal with HubSpot to drive business efficiencies and grow revenue
As Surge expands its offer with the launch of a third dedicated Electronic Muscle Stimulation (EMS) studio this summer – this time in Fleet Street, London – the brand reflects on the vital role of its estate wide digital ecosystem, created in partnership with Fisikal, designed to drive business efficiencies and commercial success.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: EMS personal training: shockingly simple
People's fitness goals are extremely diverse – ranging from an elite athlete focused on the next goal to someone who dislikes all activity due to chronic back pain.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active bolsters Everyone on Demand and enters second year with five new partnerships
Everyone Active has signed a number of new deals which will see the operator strengthen its digital product offering, Everyone on Demand.
Company profiles
Company profile: REGUPOL BSW GmbH
REGUPOL is one of the leading suppliers of sports and safety flooring, anti-slip mats for ...
Company profiles
Company profile: ServiceSport (UK) Ltd
ServiceSport (UK) Ltd specialises in maintaining, servicing and re-manufacturing all brands of cardiovascular and resistance ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Fitness equipment
Precor: Fitness equipment
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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