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Cover Story


HEALTHIER THAN EVER!


Gym franchise Anytime Fitness emerges from pandemic stronger and set for growth


A


fter a challenging 18 months in which its health clubs were forced to close on three separate occasions, Anytime Fitness and its franchisees are thriving again. Despite the circumstances, it


has continued to grow its club network and has opened the


doors of over 15 new clubs since the fitness sector’s first reopening in July 2020. Now with over 180 clubs across the UK and Ireland,


the pandemic has proved the resilience of the Anytime Fitness model and has brought the franchisor, its franchisees, and their members, closer together than ever. Despite not being able to physically welcome members through their doors, franchisees and their teams have worked tirelessly to engage their membership, supporting them from their living rooms with live workouts and a new online member platform. Anytime Fitness took this unique moment in time as an opportunity to recruit a range of new positions in the Support Office team, showing a proactive approach to its ambitious growth strategy. With two new Directors in place and further roles created, the expertise available to the network is now greater than ever. With all clubs across the UK and Ireland now open, Anytime Fitness is demonstrating the growing strength of the fitness industry, with clubs recruiting tens of thousands of new members since reopening. Enjoying some of the highest Q2 sales ever recorded,


the brand looks set for a bright future ahead.


Unparalleled support The fitness sector was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic and Anytime Fitness went above and beyond to support its franchisees to recover and rebuild stronger. Its internal ‘Together We Rise’ campaign galvanised


the network and was created to ensure continued success of their franchisees’ businesses. This campaign encompassed all aspects of their business; significantly focusing on engaging their existing members, how to successfully reopen and how to acquire new members when the market was ready. “With the duration of our sector’s closure completely


unknown, we knew we had to react quickly,” said Neil Randall, CEO of Anytime Fitness UK. “With a network of individual business owners fearing for their livelihoods, Together We Rise helped reassure them that although it may be a bumpy road, bright and prosperous times are ahead. Looking back, we’re so proud of the resilience and determination that everyone showed to adapt to the ever-changing situation and how much we’ve been able to accomplish together.” Working alongside its trade sector body, ukactive,


Anytime Fitness directly lobbied MPs on behalf of all its clubs on key issues, including successfully pushing for the closure of indoor leisure facilities to be exempt from the regional tiering system that was introduced towards the end of 2020.


BUSINESSFRANCHISE.COM 17


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