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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

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Retail resurgence poses property challenges for gym chain growth

The ability to consistently source suitable properties will be key for gym chain’s targeting major growth in 2016, with competition for sites hotting up in the face of a resurgent retail sector.

That’s according to Anytime Fitness UK general manager Brett Edwards, who believes that investing in a multi-faceted property acquisition strategy is now more important than ever, due to competition from ambitious gym chains and the wider retail market.

Anytime Fitness recently launched its 3,000th global site in Stroud and has set its sights on growing its UK portfolio from 69 trading franchise locations to 200 over the next couple of years. However, the chain will face tough competition from a slew of budget gyms with ambitious growth strategies, as well as boutique studios and new arrival to the UK market Snap Fitness.

With the typical Anytime Fitness site spanning 5,000sq ft (464.5sq m), Edwards says it’s not only gyms his company is up against, but also retailers looking to branch out as they emerge from the recession.

“When it comes to gyms – or retail for that matter – location is still the biggest single factor on the success of a business,” Edwards told Health Club Management.

“What we’re seeing now is not only tough competition from gym rivals, but lots of retailers also looking at similar-sized spaces, so it’s vital to have a comprehensive acquisition strategy and also a strong brand which will appeal to landlords.”

For Anytime, the acquisition strategy has seen the business invest in a two-pronged approach to cover all bases. The business recently made six new hires to beef up its UK property team and also uses external agents to gain access to projects not necessarily on the market yet.

“Investing in our own people is certainly our preferred strategy – these guys know the product, can sell and are able to build fruitful business relationships, the results are coming through with over 200 new properties a month being added to our database as potential locations” added Edwards.

“With over 250 territories now sold, we have franchisees lined up waiting for sites so it’s essential to be able to move quickly on deals. To that end we’ve brought in a leasing manager who is purely dedicated to handling legals quickly and cost effectively.”

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The ability to consistently source suitable properties will be key for gym chain’s targeting major growth in 2016, with competition for sites hotting up in the face of a resurgent retail sector.
HAF,FIT,IND,COL,PRO,PHR
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Retail resurgence poses property challenges for gym chain growth

The ability to consistently source suitable properties will be key for gym chain’s targeting major growth in 2016, with competition for sites hotting up in the face of a resurgent retail sector.

That’s according to Anytime Fitness UK general manager Brett Edwards, who believes that investing in a multi-faceted property acquisition strategy is now more important than ever, due to competition from ambitious gym chains and the wider retail market.

Anytime Fitness recently launched its 3,000th global site in Stroud and has set its sights on growing its UK portfolio from 69 trading franchise locations to 200 over the next couple of years. However, the chain will face tough competition from a slew of budget gyms with ambitious growth strategies, as well as boutique studios and new arrival to the UK market Snap Fitness.

With the typical Anytime Fitness site spanning 5,000sq ft (464.5sq m), Edwards says it’s not only gyms his company is up against, but also retailers looking to branch out as they emerge from the recession.

“When it comes to gyms – or retail for that matter – location is still the biggest single factor on the success of a business,” Edwards told Health Club Management.

“What we’re seeing now is not only tough competition from gym rivals, but lots of retailers also looking at similar-sized spaces, so it’s vital to have a comprehensive acquisition strategy and also a strong brand which will appeal to landlords.”

For Anytime, the acquisition strategy has seen the business invest in a two-pronged approach to cover all bases. The business recently made six new hires to beef up its UK property team and also uses external agents to gain access to projects not necessarily on the market yet.

“Investing in our own people is certainly our preferred strategy – these guys know the product, can sell and are able to build fruitful business relationships, the results are coming through with over 200 new properties a month being added to our database as potential locations” added Edwards.

“With over 250 territories now sold, we have franchisees lined up waiting for sites so it’s essential to be able to move quickly on deals. To that end we’ve brought in a leasing manager who is purely dedicated to handling legals quickly and cost effectively.”

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
The ability to consistently source suitable properties will be key for gym chain’s targeting major growth in 2016, with competition for sites hotting up in the face of a resurgent retail sector.
HAF,FIT,IND,COL,PRO,PHR
201219_745855.jpg

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