Community Leisure UK ezine
June 2022
Pure Gym plans to double in size by 2030

21 Apr 2022

Pure Gym has revealed it's planning to double the number of clubs in its portfolio, with a target of reaching more than 1,000 clubs by 2030.

The low-cost gym chain said it plans to open 500 new sites in the UK and Switzerland, as part of a strategy to "take full control of the attractive markets".

Pure Gym currently has 301 UK clubs but plans to reach between 700 and 900 sites between 2026 and 2028, meaning an opening rate of 66 clubs a year.

In total, Pure Gym opened 28 new clubs during 2021 – 24 in the UK, three in Saudi Arabia and one in Switzerland, so this announcement represents a major increase in its opening rate.

In Switzerland, where the company currently has 39 sites, it plans to reach between 100 and 200 sites during 2026-2028, although these clubs may stray from budget gym pricing, according to recent comments made by rival operator René Kalt, from Swiss health club operator, Migros.

Speaking to HCM recently, Kalt said: "It’s actually very hard to make budget gyms work in Switzerland. If you look at Pure Gym (which operates in Switzerland as BaseFit), for example, it recently put its annual membership up from 490 to 690 Swiss Francs."

Pure Gym will also look to accelerate the roll-out of its franchise operations in new international markets – including Japan, South East Asia, China, India and North Africa.

"Our growth strategy will consolidate and exploit our position as one of the large-scale 'mega players' in the global, value fitness landscape," Pure Gym said.

"We have a very clear plan to deliver growth. We will invest to grow in the UK and Switzerland, accelerate growth through franchising in the Middle East, Asia and the US and invest in digital and tech to open up new opportunities and better engagement with existing customers."

Pure Gym made the announcement as it revealed its full-year 2021 financial results, which showed that total group revenue during 2021 reached £308m, a 14 per cent increase on the pandemic-disrupted 2020.

The pandemic affected results in 2021 too, with all Pure Gym sites across its portfolio being shut from January to April due to national lockdowns.

The company revealed it has made a "strong start" to 2022, recording a net member gain of 160,000 during January and February, resulting in total group membership reaching 1.7 million at the end of February – the same level as in December 2019, before the pandemic.

In early 2022, Pure Gym opened its first three clubs in the US, as part of a move to enter the potentially lucrative Northern American fitness market. It will operate its North American sites under the Pure Fitness brand.

In an exclusive interview, Pure Gym's chief strategy officer, Francine Davies, told HCM the company has ambitious plans to develop many more sites across the US.

To shore up its finances – and to accelerate its growth plans in 2022 – Pure Gym recently secured £300m worth of equity investment from KKR, bringing the total raised during the pandemic to US$1bn. This figure includes a £100m injection by Leonard Green and Partners, a €445m bond raising and the extension of a revolving credit facility by £50m to £145m.


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