Anytime Fitness has opened its first new look fitness club in the UK at Croxley Park, Herefordshire. The two-floor 7,000 sq. ft. club with a more open and functional layout features a modernised interior and overhauled colour scheme.
In line with the brand’s evolved look and feel, the design changes are in response to the soaring popularity of functional training, a type of training that increases flexibility, co-ordination, balance and posture using a range of equipment associated with daily activities.
The new design will see clubs split into various training zones, providing a welcoming and contemporary environment for its members, whilst helping to drive down fit-out costs and contribute to a more profitable business.
Stuart Broster, chief executive of Anytime Fitness UK, said: “We’re thrilled to be driving change in the industry with our exciting new roll-out that represents a huge step forward for the brand.
“The needs of fitness consumers continue to evolve, and the new layout will allow current and prospective franchisees to provide members with highly-equipped, modern training facilities. The brand has put members at the heart of the new design proposition, continuing to create welcoming facilities with inclusive and non-intimidating atmospheres.”
Anytime says that while all its clubs are encouraged to create their own bespoke layout to suit the property and its audience, franchisees are provided with several ‘Brandatories’ (mandatory brand standards) to ensure consistency.
These are compulsory elements that clubs must incorporate in their fit-out, including the use of certain materials, colours, graphics and feature elements, which contribute to creating a training environment that builds stronger relationships among members, trainers and staff.
Anytime explains that the new design layout is part of a wider UK club rebrand, switching from its brand positioning of convenience to coaching.
Following an in-depth member survey, focus groups and consultation with its franchisee network, Anytime found that while the convenience of its 24/7 clubs remains a significant joining factor for over 160,000 UK members, they stay longer for the overall experience, friendly support and community atmosphere that it promotes.
The rebrand has also resulted in an updated Anytime logo, encompassing a new ‘Let’s Make Healthy Happen’ positioning statement, reflecting the company’s new look and feel.
Self Esteem Brands, owner of Anytime Fitness, has acquired a new fitness concept with plans to franchise it worldwide.
Basecamp Fitness – developed by entrepreneur Nick Swinmurn – currently has five locations in California and is based on providing high-energy workouts.
Designed to increase members’ strength while improving their cardio performance, Basecamp offers 35-minute, high-intensity training sessions which alternates 60-second bursts of various strength-training exercises with 60-seconds on a stationary “airbike”.
“Our plan is to build additional, corporate-owned Basecamp Fitness studios next year to explore consumer preferences and perfect the brand experience,” said Chuck Runyon, co-founder and CEO of Self Esteem Brands and Anytime Fitness.
“We hope to begin franchising Basecamp Fitness in the US and internationally in 2020.”
Dave Mortensen, co-founder and president of Self Esteem Brands and Anytime Fitness, added that the two business will complement each other.
“We believe that Basecamp Fitness and Anytime Fitness will appeal to two very different types of consumers,” Mortensen said.
Franchisee interest continues to swell as Anytime Fitness opens 100 clubs in three years in the ever-growing fitness industry.
Anytime Fitness is celebrating its continued success following its 150th club opening in the UK. The milestone was reached with the opening of Anytime Fitness Paignton, Devon, and demonstrates the sustained prosperity that its franchisees are enjoying in the thriving fitness industry.
Continuing its upward trend, the fitness industry has seen market value soar to almost £5bn in 2018. Exceeding 9.9m members, penetration is also at an all-time high of 14.9 per cent, meaning that one in every seven people in the UK is now a gym member.
After being named the second largest private health club operator in the UK earlier this year, the Paignton opening means that Anytime Fitness has opened 100 clubs in the last three years. It boasts an eclectic network of franchisees, ranging from experienced fitness industry professionals to those with no experience in the sector, showcasing the strength of the brand and the support available.
Its newest franchisees Emma and Simon Wright are a case in point. The Paignton club is the couple’s first, yet they already have two more in the pipeline that will be opening soon. Working with the central Anytime Fitness UK Support Office, a successful pre-sale saw Anytime Fitness Paignton recruit close to 500 members by the time it opened its doors, putting Emma and Simon well on their way to recouping their initial investment.
Anytime Fitness UK CEO Stuart Broster comments, “Reaching 150 clubs in the UK is a fantastic achievement for Anytime Fitness and we’re delighted to be giving so many ambitious entrepreneurs the platform to run a successful business.
“Since opening our 150th club we’ve continued to grow at pace, seeing our 155th club open in a matter of weeks since this milestone. I’ve made it no secret that I want Anytime Fitness to become the biggest health club operator in the UK and we’ve got a great Support Office team and network of franchisees to achieve this.
“We hope that this sustained growth shows that even in a challenging time in the UK economy, there are accessible opportunities with us to take advantage of the booming fitness industry. We of course appreciate there’s a significant initial investment, but as Emma and Simon have demonstrated, by taking a hands-on approach you can put yourself in a great position to become profitable in year one.”
New appointments and a busy end to 2018
Anytime Fitness has a healthy club opening pipeline for the end of 2018 and beyond, with over 30 potential new clubs that already have property secured. As club numbers continue to grow, so has the Support Office team with recent appointments of Trevor Kidd as Head of Club Projects and Daniel Penn as a dedicated New Openings Manager.
Trevor’s role will encompass the management of the construction processes for all new club openings, drive down the costs of club fit-outs and lead the exciting club refresh programme that will be implemented in Anytime Fitness sites from 2019.
His most recent role was at Pure Gym, the only private health club provider in the UK that has more clubs than Anytime Fitness, demonstrating the ambition to continue this steep growth curve.
Meanwhile, Daniel will be the key point of contact for all new franchisees, supporting them in all aspects of their journey from sourcing their site to opening the doors. He will provide valuable advice to clubs during their all-important pre-sale period as they look to recruit strong membership numbers.
As a matter of course, clubs are also assigned a Franchise Performance Coach (FPC) who works closely with franchisees. The FPCs have years of experience in the field, ranging from GM’s to Regional Managers across both public and private organisations within the fitness industry. After opening, the FPCs support clubs with regular face-to-face visits, ensuring realistic Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are met.
This year, Anytime Fitness introduced the EVOLVE Balanced Scorecard which is the biggest development to franchisee support since Anytime Fitness opened its first club in the UK. Unique to Anytime Fitness UK, the balanced scorecard assesses Anytime Fitness’ 150+ clubs across six KPIs and helps franchisees to identify internal opportunities in their business, helping them put together a strategy to improve their financial performance.
The six KPIs that EVOLVE focusses on are Net Promoter Score, Brand Standards, Service Assessment, Clubwise Health Check, Marketing Health Check and ultimately, the club’s Financial Health Check.
Stuart Broster, commented: “This is a huge development and step forward for our business in the UK. Previously, we’ve been great at advising our franchisees on what they need to do, but the launch of EVOLVE now gives them the how to go with it.
“When it comes to running a fitness franchise, the more you put into it, the more you get out and these performance metrics will help highlight where they’re performing well but more importantly, their opportunity areas and how they benchmark against other clubs.
“As our club numbers grow, it’s important for us to empower our franchisees and effectively support them in delivering a return on investment as well as creating a consistently high consumer experience across the network.
This is currently a UK-only initiative but following its implementation, we’ve already had other markets wanting to find out more, with the view to rolling this out to their network.” The KPIs are assessed by the Anytime Fitness Support Office, but franchisees also have access to self-assessment forms to track their own progress and recognise the opportunities available to them. They can then work closely with their dedicated FPC to gather advice on how to improve their business performance.
Franchisees will have access to league tables which show how they’re performing against other clubs. Furthermore, the clubs’ scores from EVOLVE will be used to judge Anytime Fitness’ annual awards where there will be recognition for the Overall Club of the Year and Most Improved Club of the Year.
Ten-year franchise agreements
New franchisees now have the option of a ten-year franchise agreement, a change introduced earlier this year. Having previously offered a maximum term of five years, the move allows franchisees a longer timescale to establish their clubs and recover their initial investment. The Anytime Fitness banking partners were instrumental in the decision, with NatWest recommending this positive move to provide additional support to franchisees.
Mark Scott, the Franchise Development Manager for the NatWest Franchise Team, comments: “NatWest has been working with Anytime Fitness and financing their franchisees since they began trading the UK. We recently recommended an increased term option on the franchise agreement which is great news for the franchisees and the bank. The reduced monthly payments, compared to a five-year agreement, will enable franchisees to generate more cash that can be used for future expansion plans.”
How can you become part of the Anytime Fitness family?
To make an initial enquiry about owning an Anytime Fitness club in the UK, contact Anytime Fitness’ UK Support Office where the recruitment team will be happy to discuss the options available to you and available territories.
Opening an Anytime Fitness club requires a minimum investment of £170,000 liquid capital, which covers the franchise fee, security fit-out and essential costs before you open your doors. Additional funding can be arranged thanks to support from the UK’s leading banks, including NatWest, Lloyds Bank and RBS.
There’s a reason why over 60 per cent of franchisees go on to own additional clubs. Franchisees can expect a healthy return on investment with recurring monthly direct debit revenue.
“He’s in no doubt that it’s going to happen. In a franchise world that includes household names such as McDonald’s and Subway, it would be a notable accolade to be the only franchise with sites open on every continent.”
Broster added that, as part of the global growth plans, the chain will introduce new developments to its member offer.
“We’re looking at the overall experience that we’re delivering to members at club level and have various future partnerships lined up to both attract and retain members,” he said.
“We’re also looking into better demographic profiling of our members and prospects, with a view to creating different types of membership.
“We’ll soon be introducing Anytime Prime, for example: a new membership for the more mature market. In addition, a lot of our members are parents, so we’re looking to partner with a leading group exercise provider to white label an exercise programme for children.
“Something else we’re looking at is increasing the functional space that is available in our clubs to capitalise on the growth in demand for this style of training and also to create more group exercise opportunities as part of the mix.”
Anytime Fitness currently has more than 4,000 clubs across the world, including 144 in the UK.
Anytime Fitness, the fast-growing fitness club franchise, is continuing its international expansion by opening the 4,000th outlet in Shanghai, China.
Furthermore, the company is pursuing plans to open 75 clubs in Morocco over the next 10 years and open at least one gym in Antarctica, which Anytime Fitness says would make it the first franchise in history with locations on all seven continents.
Chuck Runyon, chief executive and co-founder of Anytime Fitness, said: “Our mission is to ‘Improve the self-esteem of the world.’ It may sound like an audacious goal, but we’re very serious about it – 4,000 clubs open in more than 30 countries on all seven continents. Each of those clubs supports a small community of like-minded individuals who are determined to enjoy healthier, happier and more active lifestyles.”
Founded in in the U.S. in 2002, Anytime Fitness opened its first UK outlet in Bristol in 2010 and now has over 140 clubs in the UK, and is aiming to reach 400 by the end of 2020.
Stuart Broster, the UK chief executive said: “Anytime Fitness has always focused on convenience, affordability and a friendly, supportive atmosphere. That will never change and we continually work with our franchisees to expand our programming and benefits for members.”
“Owning a fitness club is becoming an increasingly attractive proposition for entrepreneurs in the UK and we’re confident of meeting our objective of being the largest fitness club provider in the UK.”
Anytime Fitness clubs are open 24-hours-a-day, 365 days a year offering members a convenient fitness option and a friendly, personal service with top-quality exercise equipment. By joining one of its gyms members are able to access all the clubs.
With Runyon’s goal to be operating across seven continents, he enthusiastically adds: “We’ve already begun exploring options for Antarctica. It’s going to happen, and sooner than you might think.”