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budget clubs


CLUB easyGym


Cost £15–£20


Contract?


Fit4Less (énergie)


Fitness4 Less


FitSpace


£14.99 (contract) £19.99 (no contract) £14.99


Monthly and annual prepayment contracts None


Sq ft


15,000– 20,000


5,000


The table below provides a comparison of the offerings of the budget chains currently in the UK (as at March 2011)


Launched 2011


Owner / MD/CEO


Fore Fitness Limited / Keith Burnet & Paul Lorimer-Wing


2008


energie group / Jan Spaticchia


None 16,000 2007


Neil Edwards, Emma Edwards, Matthew Harris


£12 Gym4all Pure Gym


£10.99–£19.99 subject to site, contract and classes £16.99


Monthly (no contract), or an 18-month contract None or 12-month


None


10,000– 20,000


12,500– 17,500


15,000– 22,000


The Gym Group


Trugym


£15.99 (or £10.99 pre-opening)


£9.99–£17.99 None


16,000– 18,000


Xercise4 Less


£14.99


No contract, or several options from one to 24 months None, 12-month and 24-month


10,000 & 21,000


20,000 & 27,000


2006


Private group / Kenny McAndrew


2009 2009


MD Erik van Meeteren, directors Joost van Hassel and Hans Breukhoven Pure Gym Ltd / Peter Roberts


2008


Bridges Ventures & John Treharne / John Treharne


2010 Parm Singh


USPs


Well understood value brand, innovative and technologically driven to provide a unique customer experience.


Smaller, convenient, low-cost gyms filling local gaps in the market. Fingerprint entry.


A full range of facilities/ ladies-only gyms and classes. “The friendly face of budget fitness” – members are welcomed on their way in and out. The first budget gym chain in the UK. Low price.


Friendly staff with state-of-the art facilities. Classes offered in some gyms.


No contract, 24/7 opening, pay monthly, free induction, money-back guarantee, price for life, use of all gyms for one price


Price, no membership contract, 24/7 opening.


Free classes, numerous price options, a franchise business model.


2009 Jon Wright Larger staffing, full class timetable.


subscription targets at its five clubs and over-spending on conversion costs. [nuyuu was sold to énergie in October 2010, just 12 months after it was jointly founded by Dragons’ Den star James Caan and Ben Silcox, a former LA Fitness national sales manager.] To the onlooker, a low-cost gym business may look simple, but this simplicity requires meticulous execution.


Q: What do you think will come next? A: As new low-cost entrants come along, there’ll be the inevitable tendency to change the ‘recipe’. This means that various low-cost hybrids start to develop, adding back some of the elements that were first eliminated such as steam, sauna and sunbeds, or even a café. It’s done under the guise of differentiation, but just ends up confusing the proposition. To me, complexity is the enemy of low-cost operators. This is why Aldi, for example, focuses on just 1,000 product lines rather than the 40,000 found in a typical Tesco.


Q: What are your predictions for the future of the sector? A: Those that continue to pursue a consistent low-cost strategy will flourish. McFit in Germany, which is the world’s largest low-cost gym business, is now more than 13 years old. In fact, when you look at some of the world’s most successful low-cost businesses, they are surprisingly well established. easyJet’s inaugural flight, for example, was more than 15 years ago and Zara has been serving up low-cost fashion for more than 35 years. So I do not buy the argument that, when the economy rebounds and consumers feel more prosperous, they will trade-up.


Pure Gym: An investment of £1m in fi tting out each new club, not including equipment


58 Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital april 2011 © cybertrek 2011


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