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Les Mills International
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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Facing the future

Outdoor sessions, digital workouts and plans for expansion, Emma Canning speaks to some of the franchise companies about how they have responded to the pandemic disruption and what is coming down the tracks…

Published in Health Club Handbook 2021 issue 1
TRIB3 has hit the ground running post lockdown with its most successful pre-sell in Edinburgh / Tribe3 / HOVE & CO PHOTOGRAPHY
TRIB3 has hit the ground running post lockdown with its most successful pre-sell in Edinburgh / Tribe3 / HOVE & CO PHOTOGRAPHY

Out of all challenges come opportunities and Rise is a fledgling franchise company which has spotted an opportunity as a result of Covid.

A franchise model which incorporates indoor, outdoor and online elements, workout sessions have been designed for parks, open green spaces and other community areas, including indoor venues.

Rise isn’t burdened by pre-COVID thinking. The venture is the brainchild of a group of fitness professionals, James Cotton, Andy Kay, Mhairi Fitzpatrick and Carl Smith.

“Rise is brand new and created to fill an emerging gap in the fitness sector,” says Cotton. “This means we don’t have a load of locations to boast about or a million followers on Instagram, but it does mean early franchisees will get the pick of locations and the best deal to get into business quickly.”

Workouts are designed to build fitness and confidence while an online element is delivered via Rise’s own app, which features personalised daily advice, motivational comments, and access to digital workouts.

Not only is this new franchise looking to fill a gap, but the team are also prepared for whatever the future brings: “Rise needs to be in the heart of the community,” says Cotton. “Because it has outdoor, indoor, and digital provision, franchises will be able to operate through the next major disruptor like COVID-19 which comes along.”

Pivot to digital
For boutique studio operator, TRIB3, the last year has seen the company expand with new stores, new locations, new partners and a new franchise deal.

TRIB3 already has sites in the UK, Spain, Finland, and Russia and will open in the Netherlands next year, marking its sixth international territory. This was followed by the launch of the first site in Scotland, in May. Three more are in the pipeline for this year.

Edinburgh’s “industrial-luxe” store is one of the largest in the TRIB3 portfolio, with capacity to offer 45-minute HIIT workouts to 48 exercisers. Launched after lockdown 3.0, it was the company’s most successful ever pre-sell. TRIB3 has already remodelled studios to allow for a minimum of 1.5m spacing as it’s what people want.

While COVID didn’t halt the opening of new sites, it did change the way they operated. “We launched live streaming – TRIB3 Live – during lockdown,” says founder, Kevin Yates. “We mobilised the team and within four weeks we’d built a TRIB3 Live studio and platform, with a full production team.”

Omnichannel approach
Franchise investment business, Empowered Brands, is also looking to Europe for its next round of expansion. The plan is to accelerate the roll-out of its four key brands while also acquiring new businesses for the portfolio, which already includes énergie Fitness.

There are now more than 100 énergie gyms in the UK and Ireland, with more slated to open this year. énergie Fitness managing director, Neil King, says the company will continue to drive the growth of its high service, low-cost, small-box gyms as well as develop its omnichannel approach – indoor:outdoor:online.

“As a result of Covid, members will have enhanced expectations,” says King. “So it will be important for operators like us to maintain and improve our online offer. While most people will be happy to resume exercising indoors, a percentage will be nervous and so our outdoor fitness offering will complement what we do in club and online.”

Aggressive expansion
Part-owned by actor, Mark Wahlberg, Australian HIIT chain, F45 Training, is looking to grow rapidly and expand on its current number of 1,500 studios in 63 countries.

The franchised studio operator filed a notification to list on the New York Stock Exchange. While no date has been announced for the initial public offering (IPO), the filing is said to state plans to open up to 7,000 studios on the US and 23,000 globally.

The filing offers an insight into the effects of the pandemic. Between 1 February 2020 and 31 March 2021, a total of 15 F45 studios permanently closed, representing less than 1 per cent of its total number of studios. It also saw revenues decrease to $82.3m for 2020 compared to $92.7m for 2019.

Connecting with members
With more than 1000 clubs across the globe, the last year has provided time for Snap Fitness to reflect and assess its position in the increasingly competitive fitness market. During this time the company has conducted a global research project to further understand customer needs, as well as to reach out to the 85 per cent of the population who don’t have a gym membership.

“The pandemic made us all take a step back and evaluate our mental, physical, and emotional health, it’s no longer about how we look but how exercise makes us feel,” says CEO, Jon Cottam. “Technology has increased, gyms will need to adapt and offer holistic experiences which are more supportive and encouraging. We are investing heavily in technology, which will help our members stay motivated and focused on their fitness journeys, as well as provide us with the data to be truly supportive to both members and franchisees.”

Cottam says Snap will also be communicating to members that general activity is as important as focused workouts: “We believe all fitness is valid fitness, whether our members are working out at our clubs or at their houses, getting steps in while running errands or doing yoga in the park.”

Engaging content
Despite the many pressures of the last 18 months, there are signs things are moving forward once again. Anytime Fitness UK revealed April was its busiest month for new memberships since it began trading in the UK in 2010, reporting tens of thousands of new members.

This was achieved despite clubs in England opened 12 days into the month, those in Scotland and Northern Ireland opened in the last week of April and Welsh clubs remained closed entirely.

Anytime Fitness CEO, Neil Randall, says the company is still on track to exceed targets for new franchised territories and new club openings in 2021 and the pandemic gave the company the chance to accelerate other important projects, including the online member platform, AF Connect Online and the Panel of Health, a range of experts who provide engaging health content for members.

The last year has been difficult but the franchise companies are now looking optimistically to the future, responding to challenges and reframing their models in order to meet customer needs and broaden the reach.

Photo: énergie Fitness

“Members will have enhanced expectations. So it will be important for operators like us to maintain and improve our online offer.” – Neil King, énergie Fitness managing director

Photo: Snap Fitness

“The pandemic made us all take a step back and evaluate our mental, physical, and emotional health, it’s no longer about how we look but how exercise makes us feel” – Jon Cottam, Snap Fitness, CEO

F45 has ambitions to open 23,000 studios across the globe / F45
F45 has ambitions to open 23,000 studios across the globe / F45
énergie Fitness is pushing for growth this year / énergie Fitness
énergie Fitness is pushing for growth this year / énergie Fitness
Anytime welcomed thousands of new members this April / Anytime Fitness
Anytime welcomed thousands of new members this April / Anytime Fitness
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/688883_435462.jpg
Despite a tough year, the franchise operators are optimistic with their forward plans. Emma Canning finds out more
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Video Gallery
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Company profile: Virtuagym
Virtuagym is a global provider of health and fitness technology for coaching, engagement and management ...
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Company profile: Life Fitness
The Life Fitness family of brands offers an unrivalled product portfolio, providing customers with access ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Spa software
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Salt therapy products
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Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
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On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
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Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
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A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
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Runcorn
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Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
21-21 Sep 2022
Various, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

Facing the future

Outdoor sessions, digital workouts and plans for expansion, Emma Canning speaks to some of the franchise companies about how they have responded to the pandemic disruption and what is coming down the tracks…

Published in Health Club Handbook 2021 issue 1
TRIB3 has hit the ground running post lockdown with its most successful pre-sell in Edinburgh / Tribe3 / HOVE & CO PHOTOGRAPHY
TRIB3 has hit the ground running post lockdown with its most successful pre-sell in Edinburgh / Tribe3 / HOVE & CO PHOTOGRAPHY

Out of all challenges come opportunities and Rise is a fledgling franchise company which has spotted an opportunity as a result of Covid.

A franchise model which incorporates indoor, outdoor and online elements, workout sessions have been designed for parks, open green spaces and other community areas, including indoor venues.

Rise isn’t burdened by pre-COVID thinking. The venture is the brainchild of a group of fitness professionals, James Cotton, Andy Kay, Mhairi Fitzpatrick and Carl Smith.

“Rise is brand new and created to fill an emerging gap in the fitness sector,” says Cotton. “This means we don’t have a load of locations to boast about or a million followers on Instagram, but it does mean early franchisees will get the pick of locations and the best deal to get into business quickly.”

Workouts are designed to build fitness and confidence while an online element is delivered via Rise’s own app, which features personalised daily advice, motivational comments, and access to digital workouts.

Not only is this new franchise looking to fill a gap, but the team are also prepared for whatever the future brings: “Rise needs to be in the heart of the community,” says Cotton. “Because it has outdoor, indoor, and digital provision, franchises will be able to operate through the next major disruptor like COVID-19 which comes along.”

Pivot to digital
For boutique studio operator, TRIB3, the last year has seen the company expand with new stores, new locations, new partners and a new franchise deal.

TRIB3 already has sites in the UK, Spain, Finland, and Russia and will open in the Netherlands next year, marking its sixth international territory. This was followed by the launch of the first site in Scotland, in May. Three more are in the pipeline for this year.

Edinburgh’s “industrial-luxe” store is one of the largest in the TRIB3 portfolio, with capacity to offer 45-minute HIIT workouts to 48 exercisers. Launched after lockdown 3.0, it was the company’s most successful ever pre-sell. TRIB3 has already remodelled studios to allow for a minimum of 1.5m spacing as it’s what people want.

While COVID didn’t halt the opening of new sites, it did change the way they operated. “We launched live streaming – TRIB3 Live – during lockdown,” says founder, Kevin Yates. “We mobilised the team and within four weeks we’d built a TRIB3 Live studio and platform, with a full production team.”

Omnichannel approach
Franchise investment business, Empowered Brands, is also looking to Europe for its next round of expansion. The plan is to accelerate the roll-out of its four key brands while also acquiring new businesses for the portfolio, which already includes énergie Fitness.

There are now more than 100 énergie gyms in the UK and Ireland, with more slated to open this year. énergie Fitness managing director, Neil King, says the company will continue to drive the growth of its high service, low-cost, small-box gyms as well as develop its omnichannel approach – indoor:outdoor:online.

“As a result of Covid, members will have enhanced expectations,” says King. “So it will be important for operators like us to maintain and improve our online offer. While most people will be happy to resume exercising indoors, a percentage will be nervous and so our outdoor fitness offering will complement what we do in club and online.”

Aggressive expansion
Part-owned by actor, Mark Wahlberg, Australian HIIT chain, F45 Training, is looking to grow rapidly and expand on its current number of 1,500 studios in 63 countries.

The franchised studio operator filed a notification to list on the New York Stock Exchange. While no date has been announced for the initial public offering (IPO), the filing is said to state plans to open up to 7,000 studios on the US and 23,000 globally.

The filing offers an insight into the effects of the pandemic. Between 1 February 2020 and 31 March 2021, a total of 15 F45 studios permanently closed, representing less than 1 per cent of its total number of studios. It also saw revenues decrease to $82.3m for 2020 compared to $92.7m for 2019.

Connecting with members
With more than 1000 clubs across the globe, the last year has provided time for Snap Fitness to reflect and assess its position in the increasingly competitive fitness market. During this time the company has conducted a global research project to further understand customer needs, as well as to reach out to the 85 per cent of the population who don’t have a gym membership.

“The pandemic made us all take a step back and evaluate our mental, physical, and emotional health, it’s no longer about how we look but how exercise makes us feel,” says CEO, Jon Cottam. “Technology has increased, gyms will need to adapt and offer holistic experiences which are more supportive and encouraging. We are investing heavily in technology, which will help our members stay motivated and focused on their fitness journeys, as well as provide us with the data to be truly supportive to both members and franchisees.”

Cottam says Snap will also be communicating to members that general activity is as important as focused workouts: “We believe all fitness is valid fitness, whether our members are working out at our clubs or at their houses, getting steps in while running errands or doing yoga in the park.”

Engaging content
Despite the many pressures of the last 18 months, there are signs things are moving forward once again. Anytime Fitness UK revealed April was its busiest month for new memberships since it began trading in the UK in 2010, reporting tens of thousands of new members.

This was achieved despite clubs in England opened 12 days into the month, those in Scotland and Northern Ireland opened in the last week of April and Welsh clubs remained closed entirely.

Anytime Fitness CEO, Neil Randall, says the company is still on track to exceed targets for new franchised territories and new club openings in 2021 and the pandemic gave the company the chance to accelerate other important projects, including the online member platform, AF Connect Online and the Panel of Health, a range of experts who provide engaging health content for members.

The last year has been difficult but the franchise companies are now looking optimistically to the future, responding to challenges and reframing their models in order to meet customer needs and broaden the reach.

Photo: énergie Fitness

“Members will have enhanced expectations. So it will be important for operators like us to maintain and improve our online offer.” – Neil King, énergie Fitness managing director

Photo: Snap Fitness

“The pandemic made us all take a step back and evaluate our mental, physical, and emotional health, it’s no longer about how we look but how exercise makes us feel” – Jon Cottam, Snap Fitness, CEO

F45 has ambitions to open 23,000 studios across the globe / F45
F45 has ambitions to open 23,000 studios across the globe / F45
énergie Fitness is pushing for growth this year / énergie Fitness
énergie Fitness is pushing for growth this year / énergie Fitness
Anytime welcomed thousands of new members this April / Anytime Fitness
Anytime welcomed thousands of new members this April / Anytime Fitness
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/688883_435462.jpg
Despite a tough year, the franchise operators are optimistic with their forward plans. Emma Canning finds out more
Latest News
The best in the business from across the physical activity sector were honoured last night ...
Latest News
At UK Active’s Active Uprising event yesterday (30 June) in Birmingham, Hattie Jones, the head ...
Latest News
HCM understands researchers are moving closer to creating a pill to mimic some of the ...
Latest News
Establishing new data and insight services and strengthening relationships with both government and the NHS ...
Latest News
More than one in five (27 per cent) Americans belonged to a health club or ...
Latest News
Ultimate Performance (UP) – the private gym chain and PT business – has opened a ...
Latest News
Luxury hotel chain Mandarin Oriental has launched a new brand called Intelligent Movement to deliver ...
Latest News
Boutique fitness chain 1Rebel opens the doors to its tenth club today (Monday 27 June ...
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Parkwood Leisure celebrates milestone of teaching 100,000 children to swim
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading leisure operators, has reached the milestone of teaching 100,000 children to swim through its Learn To Swim Programme.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: EGYM announces integration with software provider Fisikal
EGYM has announced an integration with a leading UK-based software company Fisikal to enhance its capabilities to serve the needs of enterprise customers running multi-site operations.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New partnership delivers swimming support to children with disabilities
A new partnership has been launched to provide inclusive swimming for children with mobility, visual and hearing disabilities.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New £42m Moorways Sports Village to open on 21 May
Everyone Active will open Moorways Sports Village to the public on Saturday 21 May with a grand opening weekend – in time for the half term holidays.
Video Gallery
Mindbody, Inc
Sport Alliance GmbH
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Company profiles
Company profile: Virtuagym
Virtuagym is a global provider of health and fitness technology for coaching, engagement and management ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Life Fitness
The Life Fitness family of brands offers an unrivalled product portfolio, providing customers with access ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
21-21 Sep 2022
Various, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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