GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of HCM magazine and also get the HCM ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Active IQ
Active IQ
Active IQ
Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Interview: Simon Flint

New brands, new models and an eye on global reach. The CEO of Evolution Wellness talks to Kate Cracknell

By Kate Cracknell | Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 1
Simon Flint has been CEO of Evolution Wellness since it was created in 2017
Simon Flint has been CEO of Evolution Wellness since it was created in 2017
We have a new flagship location in Bangkok called Icon Siam – which is spread over three floors, with an infinity pool and the country’s first dedicated Lagree Pilates studio. We’ve also opened The F Zone in Bangkok, which is a heart rate training, athletic performance club

When HCM last interviewed Simon Flint a few years back, Fitness First Asia and Celebrity Fitness had just come together under the banner of a newly-formed parent group, Evolution Wellness, of which Flint was CEO.

Even then, this was touted as just the beginning, with the creation of Evolution Wellness foretelling further acquisitions and ventures into wellbeing – and so it has transpired. Here, Flint offers an overview of the current Evolution Wellness portfolio, and a sneak preview of growth plans moving forward.

Let’s start with Fitness First and Celebrity Fitness. What has been the story here since 2017?
The big news for Celebrity Fitness has been its expansion into new markets: the Philippines in 2018, and then Thailand in 2019. These are both strong markets for Fitness First, but there are good opportunities for Celebrity too: the two brands are quite different, providing distinct experiences for members.

Fitness First is more corporate, about 15-20 per cent more expensive, and offers slightly more expert support and science, with DNA testing and so on – perfect for exercisers who want to challenge themselves.

Celebrity Fitness speaks to the young, and the young at heart. It’s about having fun while getting fit: we promise the liveliest vibe in town, with every class feeling like a party.

In addition to moving into new markets, over the last couple of years we’ve done some work across the Celebrity Fitness estate to enhance the brand and amplify its edgy attitude. That work has included major makeovers at the two biggest clubs in Malaysia, which has led to a 26 per cent uplift in new joining yield at those two locations.

Meanwhile, Fitness First has been about growth within existing territories. We have a new flagship location in Bangkok – a club called Icon Siam – which is spread over three floors, with facilities including an infinity pool and the country’s first dedicated Lagree Pilates studio.

We’ve also opened The F Zone in downtown Bangkok, which is a heart rate training, athletic performance club.

Both of these are Club Class locations, which is the tier above Platinum, as is our newest club in Malaysia. This one is actually a relaunch of a club we secured as part of the acquisition of CHi Fitness – a chain of 13 clubs in Malaysia – in 2018. This particular club, located in the upscale neighbourhood of Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, re-opened in November following a US$500k rebrand of a high-end Fitness First club.

We’ve also spun off some of our more successful group exercise formats to create club-in-club, boutique-style studios. The best example is The Box, which is entirely dedicated to boxing, with two proprietary classes: Boom, which is boxing to music; and Hook, which is more of a technical class where you learn the basic boxing moves.

But we also have other concepts with their own spaces, although members can also use those spaces when classes aren’t in progress. Surge, for example, is centred around Technogym Skillmills, with three bodyweight or free weight stations sitting behind each treadmill. And then Burn is more cardio-based, using four different types of equipment, such as Aerobikes, Concept2s and Versaclimbers.

Does your multi-brand approach have any benefits for your members?
In Malaysia and Indonesia – markets where we already have a critical mass of both Fitness First and Celebrity Fitness clubs – we introduced a dual-brand membership in 2018, which allows members to enjoy access to locations across both brands. We’re currently at 9.1 per cent penetration for that membership option.

Additionally, we acquired a small aggregator app a while ago, which we’ve further developed to allow us to become our own aggregator. As of last month, we’re piloting member and non-member apps for Fitness First and Celebrity Fitness where – along with the usual features you’d expect in an app, from booking and tracking to challenges and ‘invite a friend’ – we can release some of the capacity in our clubs to non-members, as well as allowing members to consume products and services in a pay-as-you-go fashion.

One day, as our estate continues to grow, it might even be that we create an Evolution Wellness membership and app – a way of aggregating across the total portfolio, allowing people to consume any of our brands by using credits from their digital membership. But for now, our aggregator app covers only Fitness First and Celebrity Fitness.

Tell us about your new brands since 2017…
The objective we set in 2017 was to build an ecosystem to service different price points, different attitudes to fitness, different modes of consumption, with an ability to respond to the broadest range of locations and spaces. As a result, we’ve expanded our portfolio significantly over recent years.

I’ve already mentioned CHi Fitness, which we acquired in 2018, along with wellness retreat Fivelements. In that same year, we acquired MembersFirst – a club management software created, used and fine-tuned by Fitness First Group over the years – and rebranded it to Circuit. It’s a very powerful membership administration tool which we’re planning to monetise going forward.

Then, in 2019, we acquired Malaysian boutique brand FIRE Fitness, developed a new brand format – Fivelements Habitat – and launched our own low-cost brand, GoFit.

Can you share a bit more detail on each of these brands?
CHi is a well-run chain of health clubs with good, mostly lower mid-market locations in Malaysia. These will complement the existing Celebrity Fitness-Fitness First club network well, and in time will allow members to derive more value from a triple-brand membership. However, we first have a little more work to do to codify and cement its brand positioning.

Fivelements, when we acquired it, comprised one location in Bali – a wellness retreat – which we’ve expanded with 20 new rooms and a culinary school for plant-based cuisine. We have, as I say, also begun to develop new brand formats: Fivelements Habitat launched in Hong Kong in 2019 as the first example of Fivelements’ urban wellness model. It focuses on yoga, sacred arts and plant-based cuisine. As a city sanctuary, it’s a space for quality ‘me’ time – for physical, mental and spiritual ‘maintenance’ – and offers a safe haven to unwind, decompress and reconnect.

FIRE Fitness enjoys a leadership position in the Malaysian boutique segment, with class experiences including Ride, Strike, Stride and Force. These classes are all proprietary and created in-house by the Fire team.

Despite having only two sites at the point of acquisition, it commands a really strong community base. Six weeks after joining the Evolution Wellness family, we opened the third site – Firestation 3 – which at 200sqm, and with a maximum 18 people in a class, promises to keep things intimate.

Then there’s GoFit, a brand and concept we created completely from scratch, which offers a no-frills, fuss-free gym experience: it offers everything you need, and nothing that you don’t, for about US$20 a month.

Technology is an essential enabler to deliver this high value, low price product.

GoFit clubs will start from 350sq m, but our first site – which we opened in Malaysia late last year – is a 1,200sq m flagship that showcases all the possible components of this model. That includes a ladies-only zone, accessed through the women’s changing rooms and not even visible to the rest of the gym; our proprietary, automated, traffic-lighted Super Circuit; virtual group exercise; and spaces where you can plug in your phone and work out following your own content on a big screen. There are premium add-ons too, such as hydro-massage and FitQuest.

What are your plans for all these brands moving forward?
Starting with Fitness First and Celebrity Fitness, our focus will be on existing territories, with steady growth on the cards. In particular, we’ll be looking at Thailand and the Philippines for Celebrity Fitness; and Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore for Fitness First.

Fivelements is set to be a very exciting brand, and I’m interested to see what we can do with it as we grow. We’re in negotiations at the moment for a second Fivelements Habitat site in Hong Kong, and as we go forward I can see us having some smaller studios too, reaching further into communities to make the offering more accessible still.

We’re also already mapping out other brand architectures – Fivelements Residences, for example, in response to a lot of inbound enquiries from developers and hotels interested in licensing the name and getting us involved in creating wellness components for their properties. It’s easy to see how some of the Fivelements expertise and ethos could be incorporated into our more mainstream club businesses, too, either in person or via the app.

But the real focus for growth at Evolution Wellness will be GoFit and Fire.

Our fourth Fire site, which we’re dubbing Fire Station 4, opens in Malaysia in March 2020 and this will already begin to ramp things up a bit. This new club will feature a new barre class, as well as a content delivery platform designed to facilitate our newly created Fire Circuit classes.

This set-up will allow us to expand quicker, with more easily replicable classes. The platform can help with instructor education too, quickly raising standards by letting instructors practise the content in their own time.

We expect growth of the Fire brand to accelerate as we go through this year. Even faster growth is planned for the GoFit brand.

We will ultimately operate Fire and GoFit in all our markets – Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand – and our track record is already helping in this respect. When we’re talking to landlords about GoFit, for example, we’re already in a very different position than we would have been had the brand simply arrived from nowhere as a standalone business.

Do you have any plans to expand beyond your existing territories?
We do, yes, and again it will be Fire and GoFit that will drive new market expansion. This will be done through licensing.

Where previously, as with Fitness First, we were a division of a global business, now we can actually be the global business if we wish. We have the rights to GoFit and Fire, which changes the dynamic quite significantly from just being a south-east Asia player. We can play globally, and indeed have already had interest from as far away as Russia.

We don’t really work to a five-year plan, and I don’t want to pull numbers out of the sky, but for example it’s not unrealistic to think we could – through the franchise model – have a 1,000 GoFits in that sort of timeframe.

Are there any new initiatives planned to further grow your wellness reach?
Thinking out of the box – as our Evolution Wellness remit allows us to do – I envisage a next chapter that will focus on low inflammatory regimes and low oxidative stress lifestyles, encompassing everything from diet and the air we breathe to the amount of sleep we get and the kind of exercise we do.

I believe we must use the size of our platform to educate the market, helping people to understand that including a variety of exercise modalities in their life is likely the best path to optimum wellness.

We’ll need to get some authoritative content to make sure we’re really ready for this, but fortunately we already have the real estate and the space to be able to offer this kind of programme.

Evolution Wellness in numbers

Six operating brands

400,000 members

6,000 staff

25 million workouts a year

175 clubs – and counting

10 per cent revenue growth (Fitness First + Celebrity Fitness) since the merger Figures correct as at December 2019

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Fitness First has a new flagship location in Bangkok, a club called Icon Siam
Fitness First has a new flagship location in Bangkok, a club called Icon Siam
Evolution Wellness has launched club-in-club boutique-style studios
Evolution Wellness has launched club-in-club boutique-style studios
In Malaysia and Indonesia, there is a dual-brand membership option for Fitness First and Celebrity Fitness
In Malaysia and Indonesia, there is a dual-brand membership option for Fitness First and Celebrity Fitness
Evolution Wellness acquired MembersFirst, a club management software, rebranding it as Circuit
Evolution Wellness acquired MembersFirst, a club management software, rebranding it as Circuit
The company plans to grow Celebrity Fitness particularly in Thailand and the Philippines, and Fitness First in Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore / PHOTO: ALLSAMAZING
The company plans to grow Celebrity Fitness particularly in Thailand and the Philippines, and Fitness First in Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore / PHOTO: ALLSAMAZING
The newest Fire site will feature a content delivery system designed to facilitate the new Fire Circuit class
The newest Fire site will feature a content delivery system designed to facilitate the new Fire Circuit class
Flint says GoFit, a no-frills, budget gym chain, could grow to 1,000 clubs through franchising over the next five years
Flint says GoFit, a no-frills, budget gym chain, could grow to 1,000 clubs through franchising over the next five years
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/imagesX/129735_899189.jpg
New launches, new brands, acquisitions, diversification, expansion and franchising are driving the explosive growth of Evolution Wellness in Asia. CEO Simon Flint talks to Kate Cracknell...
Simon Flint, Evolution Wellness Kate Cracknell, Freelance Journalist,Asia fitness, Asia gyms, group exercise Asia, Simon Flint, Evolution Wellness, Celebrity Fitness, Fitness First Asia, The F Zone, CHi Fitness,
HCM magazine
As we adapt to a new way of living, software developers have been supporting the fitness sector with new systems and strategies. We asked operators and developers to share successes
HCM magazine
The health and fitness industry felt as though it wasn’t invited to its own party when news of the government’s Fit Miles programme broke. But what does it actually mean and is it good or bad news for the sector? Kath Hudson investigates
HCM magazine
A new report, conducted by Deloitte, analyses the growth of the Chinese fitness industry and the outlook ahead, as Kristen Walsh reports
HCM Magazine
HCM People
We feel there’s a clear opportunity for a national health, fitness and wellness brand to compete and emerge in hotels
HCM Magazine
Supplier showcase
Switzerland’s no frills chain, NonStop Gym, has appointed Funxtion to create its member training app, as CEO Ernst De Neef explains
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
More than 30,000 Hussle users have been turned into direct members in the last 18 months. Find out how Hussle can help your business bounce back
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Hamilton’s Honour is Leicester’s newest fitness studio opening, with the latest innovation from Technogym. But this studio has a unique story, too. Owner Louis Hamilton tells us why he was determined to create such a special place
HCM Magazine
Editor's letter
Groundbreaking research from around the world is proving the many ways exercise can support health and creating opportunities for the sector to be more valued and useful
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Craig Cocking was appointed Life Fitness UK’s country manager in December, following over 13 years with the business. He reflects on the impact of the past 12 months and shares his views on the future of the industry
HCM Magazine
Hospitality
Fitness, wellness and recovery are driving new investments in the hotel and resorts market, with Kerzner the latest to enter this space, as Megan Whitby reports
HCM Magazine
Latest News
Thousands of health clubs, swimming pools and leisure centres are under the threat of permanent ...
Latest News
Fully vaccinated people in the US no longer need to wear a face mask whether ...
Latest News
Anytime Fitness UK has revealed that April was its busiest month for new memberships since ...
Latest News
HCM understands that Fitness International, which operates more than 700 health clubs under the LA ...
Latest News
A court has given Virgin Active the green light to erase the rent arrears it ...
Latest News
The Swimming Teachers' Association (STA) has partnered with a psychologist to provide new mindfulness and ...
Latest News
A report commissioned by Parkrun has estimated that allowing mass-participation outdoor events carries an "exceptionally ...
Latest News
Jan Spaticchia, founder and chair of énergie Fitness has died aged 51 following a short ...
Opinion
promotion
The UK’s first dedicated leisure development framework has completed its first four-year term with £144m committed investment in public leisure projects.
Opinion: UK’s first leisure framework celebrates £144m investment in public leisure
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Red light therapy improves sleep, aids recovery and enhances focus
Offering red light therapy to your members can create a valuable source of secondary spend, while also supporting them with their recovery and delivering improvements to mobility, circulation and muscle soreness.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Precor supports Aneurin Leisure Trust in three-site refurbishment
Welsh leisure trust, Aneurin Leisure (ALT), has announced it’s forging ahead with a £600,000 (US$821,000, €696,000) gym refurbishment in all three of its leisure centres.
Company profiles
Company profile: Orbit4
Orbit4 is the umbrella brand for FitnessCompared, FitnessFinance, WeServiceGymEquipment and WeBuyGymEquipment....
Company profiles
Company profile: Safe Space Lockers
Safe Space have over 25 years of experience in the UK leisure and fitness industry, ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Fitness equipment
Precor: Fitness equipment
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
07-09 Jun 2021
Virtual summit,
Diary dates
12 Jun 2021
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
13-14 Jun 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-04 Jul 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
28-29 Sep 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

features

Interview: Simon Flint

New brands, new models and an eye on global reach. The CEO of Evolution Wellness talks to Kate Cracknell

By Kate Cracknell | Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 1
Simon Flint has been CEO of Evolution Wellness since it was created in 2017
Simon Flint has been CEO of Evolution Wellness since it was created in 2017
We have a new flagship location in Bangkok called Icon Siam – which is spread over three floors, with an infinity pool and the country’s first dedicated Lagree Pilates studio. We’ve also opened The F Zone in Bangkok, which is a heart rate training, athletic performance club

When HCM last interviewed Simon Flint a few years back, Fitness First Asia and Celebrity Fitness had just come together under the banner of a newly-formed parent group, Evolution Wellness, of which Flint was CEO.

Even then, this was touted as just the beginning, with the creation of Evolution Wellness foretelling further acquisitions and ventures into wellbeing – and so it has transpired. Here, Flint offers an overview of the current Evolution Wellness portfolio, and a sneak preview of growth plans moving forward.

Let’s start with Fitness First and Celebrity Fitness. What has been the story here since 2017?
The big news for Celebrity Fitness has been its expansion into new markets: the Philippines in 2018, and then Thailand in 2019. These are both strong markets for Fitness First, but there are good opportunities for Celebrity too: the two brands are quite different, providing distinct experiences for members.

Fitness First is more corporate, about 15-20 per cent more expensive, and offers slightly more expert support and science, with DNA testing and so on – perfect for exercisers who want to challenge themselves.

Celebrity Fitness speaks to the young, and the young at heart. It’s about having fun while getting fit: we promise the liveliest vibe in town, with every class feeling like a party.

In addition to moving into new markets, over the last couple of years we’ve done some work across the Celebrity Fitness estate to enhance the brand and amplify its edgy attitude. That work has included major makeovers at the two biggest clubs in Malaysia, which has led to a 26 per cent uplift in new joining yield at those two locations.

Meanwhile, Fitness First has been about growth within existing territories. We have a new flagship location in Bangkok – a club called Icon Siam – which is spread over three floors, with facilities including an infinity pool and the country’s first dedicated Lagree Pilates studio.

We’ve also opened The F Zone in downtown Bangkok, which is a heart rate training, athletic performance club.

Both of these are Club Class locations, which is the tier above Platinum, as is our newest club in Malaysia. This one is actually a relaunch of a club we secured as part of the acquisition of CHi Fitness – a chain of 13 clubs in Malaysia – in 2018. This particular club, located in the upscale neighbourhood of Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, re-opened in November following a US$500k rebrand of a high-end Fitness First club.

We’ve also spun off some of our more successful group exercise formats to create club-in-club, boutique-style studios. The best example is The Box, which is entirely dedicated to boxing, with two proprietary classes: Boom, which is boxing to music; and Hook, which is more of a technical class where you learn the basic boxing moves.

But we also have other concepts with their own spaces, although members can also use those spaces when classes aren’t in progress. Surge, for example, is centred around Technogym Skillmills, with three bodyweight or free weight stations sitting behind each treadmill. And then Burn is more cardio-based, using four different types of equipment, such as Aerobikes, Concept2s and Versaclimbers.

Does your multi-brand approach have any benefits for your members?
In Malaysia and Indonesia – markets where we already have a critical mass of both Fitness First and Celebrity Fitness clubs – we introduced a dual-brand membership in 2018, which allows members to enjoy access to locations across both brands. We’re currently at 9.1 per cent penetration for that membership option.

Additionally, we acquired a small aggregator app a while ago, which we’ve further developed to allow us to become our own aggregator. As of last month, we’re piloting member and non-member apps for Fitness First and Celebrity Fitness where – along with the usual features you’d expect in an app, from booking and tracking to challenges and ‘invite a friend’ – we can release some of the capacity in our clubs to non-members, as well as allowing members to consume products and services in a pay-as-you-go fashion.

One day, as our estate continues to grow, it might even be that we create an Evolution Wellness membership and app – a way of aggregating across the total portfolio, allowing people to consume any of our brands by using credits from their digital membership. But for now, our aggregator app covers only Fitness First and Celebrity Fitness.

Tell us about your new brands since 2017…
The objective we set in 2017 was to build an ecosystem to service different price points, different attitudes to fitness, different modes of consumption, with an ability to respond to the broadest range of locations and spaces. As a result, we’ve expanded our portfolio significantly over recent years.

I’ve already mentioned CHi Fitness, which we acquired in 2018, along with wellness retreat Fivelements. In that same year, we acquired MembersFirst – a club management software created, used and fine-tuned by Fitness First Group over the years – and rebranded it to Circuit. It’s a very powerful membership administration tool which we’re planning to monetise going forward.

Then, in 2019, we acquired Malaysian boutique brand FIRE Fitness, developed a new brand format – Fivelements Habitat – and launched our own low-cost brand, GoFit.

Can you share a bit more detail on each of these brands?
CHi is a well-run chain of health clubs with good, mostly lower mid-market locations in Malaysia. These will complement the existing Celebrity Fitness-Fitness First club network well, and in time will allow members to derive more value from a triple-brand membership. However, we first have a little more work to do to codify and cement its brand positioning.

Fivelements, when we acquired it, comprised one location in Bali – a wellness retreat – which we’ve expanded with 20 new rooms and a culinary school for plant-based cuisine. We have, as I say, also begun to develop new brand formats: Fivelements Habitat launched in Hong Kong in 2019 as the first example of Fivelements’ urban wellness model. It focuses on yoga, sacred arts and plant-based cuisine. As a city sanctuary, it’s a space for quality ‘me’ time – for physical, mental and spiritual ‘maintenance’ – and offers a safe haven to unwind, decompress and reconnect.

FIRE Fitness enjoys a leadership position in the Malaysian boutique segment, with class experiences including Ride, Strike, Stride and Force. These classes are all proprietary and created in-house by the Fire team.

Despite having only two sites at the point of acquisition, it commands a really strong community base. Six weeks after joining the Evolution Wellness family, we opened the third site – Firestation 3 – which at 200sqm, and with a maximum 18 people in a class, promises to keep things intimate.

Then there’s GoFit, a brand and concept we created completely from scratch, which offers a no-frills, fuss-free gym experience: it offers everything you need, and nothing that you don’t, for about US$20 a month.

Technology is an essential enabler to deliver this high value, low price product.

GoFit clubs will start from 350sq m, but our first site – which we opened in Malaysia late last year – is a 1,200sq m flagship that showcases all the possible components of this model. That includes a ladies-only zone, accessed through the women’s changing rooms and not even visible to the rest of the gym; our proprietary, automated, traffic-lighted Super Circuit; virtual group exercise; and spaces where you can plug in your phone and work out following your own content on a big screen. There are premium add-ons too, such as hydro-massage and FitQuest.

What are your plans for all these brands moving forward?
Starting with Fitness First and Celebrity Fitness, our focus will be on existing territories, with steady growth on the cards. In particular, we’ll be looking at Thailand and the Philippines for Celebrity Fitness; and Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore for Fitness First.

Fivelements is set to be a very exciting brand, and I’m interested to see what we can do with it as we grow. We’re in negotiations at the moment for a second Fivelements Habitat site in Hong Kong, and as we go forward I can see us having some smaller studios too, reaching further into communities to make the offering more accessible still.

We’re also already mapping out other brand architectures – Fivelements Residences, for example, in response to a lot of inbound enquiries from developers and hotels interested in licensing the name and getting us involved in creating wellness components for their properties. It’s easy to see how some of the Fivelements expertise and ethos could be incorporated into our more mainstream club businesses, too, either in person or via the app.

But the real focus for growth at Evolution Wellness will be GoFit and Fire.

Our fourth Fire site, which we’re dubbing Fire Station 4, opens in Malaysia in March 2020 and this will already begin to ramp things up a bit. This new club will feature a new barre class, as well as a content delivery platform designed to facilitate our newly created Fire Circuit classes.

This set-up will allow us to expand quicker, with more easily replicable classes. The platform can help with instructor education too, quickly raising standards by letting instructors practise the content in their own time.

We expect growth of the Fire brand to accelerate as we go through this year. Even faster growth is planned for the GoFit brand.

We will ultimately operate Fire and GoFit in all our markets – Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand – and our track record is already helping in this respect. When we’re talking to landlords about GoFit, for example, we’re already in a very different position than we would have been had the brand simply arrived from nowhere as a standalone business.

Do you have any plans to expand beyond your existing territories?
We do, yes, and again it will be Fire and GoFit that will drive new market expansion. This will be done through licensing.

Where previously, as with Fitness First, we were a division of a global business, now we can actually be the global business if we wish. We have the rights to GoFit and Fire, which changes the dynamic quite significantly from just being a south-east Asia player. We can play globally, and indeed have already had interest from as far away as Russia.

We don’t really work to a five-year plan, and I don’t want to pull numbers out of the sky, but for example it’s not unrealistic to think we could – through the franchise model – have a 1,000 GoFits in that sort of timeframe.

Are there any new initiatives planned to further grow your wellness reach?
Thinking out of the box – as our Evolution Wellness remit allows us to do – I envisage a next chapter that will focus on low inflammatory regimes and low oxidative stress lifestyles, encompassing everything from diet and the air we breathe to the amount of sleep we get and the kind of exercise we do.

I believe we must use the size of our platform to educate the market, helping people to understand that including a variety of exercise modalities in their life is likely the best path to optimum wellness.

We’ll need to get some authoritative content to make sure we’re really ready for this, but fortunately we already have the real estate and the space to be able to offer this kind of programme.

Evolution Wellness in numbers

Six operating brands

400,000 members

6,000 staff

25 million workouts a year

175 clubs – and counting

10 per cent revenue growth (Fitness First + Celebrity Fitness) since the merger Figures correct as at December 2019

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Fitness First has a new flagship location in Bangkok, a club called Icon Siam
Fitness First has a new flagship location in Bangkok, a club called Icon Siam
Evolution Wellness has launched club-in-club boutique-style studios
Evolution Wellness has launched club-in-club boutique-style studios
In Malaysia and Indonesia, there is a dual-brand membership option for Fitness First and Celebrity Fitness
In Malaysia and Indonesia, there is a dual-brand membership option for Fitness First and Celebrity Fitness
Evolution Wellness acquired MembersFirst, a club management software, rebranding it as Circuit
Evolution Wellness acquired MembersFirst, a club management software, rebranding it as Circuit
The company plans to grow Celebrity Fitness particularly in Thailand and the Philippines, and Fitness First in Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore / PHOTO: ALLSAMAZING
The company plans to grow Celebrity Fitness particularly in Thailand and the Philippines, and Fitness First in Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore / PHOTO: ALLSAMAZING
The newest Fire site will feature a content delivery system designed to facilitate the new Fire Circuit class
The newest Fire site will feature a content delivery system designed to facilitate the new Fire Circuit class
Flint says GoFit, a no-frills, budget gym chain, could grow to 1,000 clubs through franchising over the next five years
Flint says GoFit, a no-frills, budget gym chain, could grow to 1,000 clubs through franchising over the next five years
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/imagesX/129735_899189.jpg
New launches, new brands, acquisitions, diversification, expansion and franchising are driving the explosive growth of Evolution Wellness in Asia. CEO Simon Flint talks to Kate Cracknell...
Simon Flint, Evolution Wellness Kate Cracknell, Freelance Journalist,Asia fitness, Asia gyms, group exercise Asia, Simon Flint, Evolution Wellness, Celebrity Fitness, Fitness First Asia, The F Zone, CHi Fitness,
Latest News
Thousands of health clubs, swimming pools and leisure centres are under the threat of permanent ...
Latest News
Fully vaccinated people in the US no longer need to wear a face mask whether ...
Latest News
Anytime Fitness UK has revealed that April was its busiest month for new memberships since ...
Latest News
HCM understands that Fitness International, which operates more than 700 health clubs under the LA ...
Latest News
A court has given Virgin Active the green light to erase the rent arrears it ...
Latest News
The Swimming Teachers' Association (STA) has partnered with a psychologist to provide new mindfulness and ...
Latest News
A report commissioned by Parkrun has estimated that allowing mass-participation outdoor events carries an "exceptionally ...
Latest News
Jan Spaticchia, founder and chair of énergie Fitness has died aged 51 following a short ...
Latest News
A new pioneering approach looks to help cancer patients prepare for and respond to treatment ...
Latest News
Peloton is recalling all of its Tread and Tread+ machines in the US, after striking ...
Latest News
Health club operator Bannatyne is repositioning itself as a wellness provider, as it looks to ...
Opinion
promotion
The UK’s first dedicated leisure development framework has completed its first four-year term with £144m committed investment in public leisure projects.
Opinion: UK’s first leisure framework celebrates £144m investment in public leisure
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Red light therapy improves sleep, aids recovery and enhances focus
Offering red light therapy to your members can create a valuable source of secondary spend, while also supporting them with their recovery and delivering improvements to mobility, circulation and muscle soreness.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Precor supports Aneurin Leisure Trust in three-site refurbishment
Welsh leisure trust, Aneurin Leisure (ALT), has announced it’s forging ahead with a £600,000 (US$821,000, €696,000) gym refurbishment in all three of its leisure centres.
Company profiles
Company profile: Orbit4
Orbit4 is the umbrella brand for FitnessCompared, FitnessFinance, WeServiceGymEquipment and WeBuyGymEquipment....
Company profiles
Company profile: Safe Space Lockers
Safe Space have over 25 years of experience in the UK leisure and fitness industry, ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Fitness equipment
Precor: Fitness equipment
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
07-09 Jun 2021
Virtual summit,
Diary dates
12 Jun 2021
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
13-14 Jun 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-04 Jul 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
28-29 Sep 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Active IQ
Active IQ