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21 Jun 2024 World leisure: news, training & property
 
 
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21 May 2024

Empowered Brands takes on Fit+ master franchise for UK and Ireland
BY Kath Hudson

Fit+ has seen explosive growth in Europe and is coming to the UK

Fit+ has seen explosive growth in Europe and is coming to the UK
photo: Fit+

Empowered Brands has signed a deal with European staffless gym chain, Fit+, to be the master franchisor in the UK and Ireland.

More than 200 potential sites have already been identified in the UK.

The advantage of the staffless model is that it allows penetration into smaller towns, suburban and even rural areas with a target population of 6,000 to 15,000. Providing the gym-goers are confident going to an unsupervised facility, this solves the problem of affordable access in less populated areas.

A fully-automated experience, which allows the gyms to open 24/7, Fit+ was co-founded in Germany by fitness club operators and entrepreneurs, Torsten Boorberg and Björn Krämer, in response to staffing challenges. Within three years, the company has seen strong growth, with 320 gyms expected to be open globally by the end of this year.

Mark Pinner, CEO at Empowered Brands, says: “This is a game-changer, as it’s a concept that’s able to reach underserved communities easily. Fit+ gyms will provide a range of strength, resistance, and free weights equipment, with QR codes on each piece of equipment to guide users on how they workout. We’re really excited to roll the concept out, providing everything that people need for a complete training programme.”

Interest in the business is already being shown among Empowered Brands’ existing franchise network. “It’s an incredibly exciting time for the business as we look to continue to transform the UK and Ireland’s fitness landscape, both in terms of the opportunities we're able to provide for consumers, and for potential franchisees,” says Pinner.

There are currently 250 Fit+ locations in Europe and the company is projecting a turnover of more than €30 million this year. In six years it has expanded to 10 countries, with ambitions to reach 28 countries across Europe, Africa and Asia with 1,000 sites and €100 million turnover by 2027.

Boorberg says: “It’s an incredible prospect for franchisees – our gyms are operated entirely digitally and managed with just a few hours of work per week. It keeps the gym’s operating costs to a minimum and provides an amazing level of freedom and flexibility for the business owner.”

Empowered Brands also runs the énergie Fitness franchise globally and the Australian-born boxing and strength training concept, UBX Boxing and Strength in the UK. This year the company has opened two new franchised énergie Fitness gyms in Lichfield and Tooting, as well as three new UBX Boxing and Strength franchise clubs in Alderley, Windsor and Wembley. It's backed by alternative investment management firm, RM Funds.

Empowered Brands was founded by industry entrepreneur, the late Jan Spaticchia.



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