énergie primed for 30 new Ireland clubs
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énergie primed for 30 new Ireland clubs

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Health club franchisor and operator énergie Group has secured a deal with Abbey International Finance that will see up to 30 new centres roll out in Ireland over the next three years as part of an aggressive expansion plan.

Abbey has committed €3m (£2.5m, US$4.1m) as part of an agreement that gives the finance house licence rights for the énergie Fitness, Fit4Less and énergie Fitness for Women brands in Ireland.

This week saw the opening of the first énergie Fitness Club in Cork, a 13,000 sq.ft (1,208m) facility that will serve as the brand’s flagship club in the west of Ireland.

With a brand new design and range of features - two studios to accommodate a variety of group workout offerings, the Irish debut of the Bilt lateral weight training equipment – developed by tennis star Andre Agassi – and a pioneering salad bar concept from Dublin outfit Chopped, the latest addition to the énergie Group family is one that chair Jan Spaticchia is particularly proud of.

“It’s a new breed of énergie Fitness Club, with a fresh new look and feel,” Spaticchia told Health Club Management magazine. “Now is a great opportunity to realise the potential of the Irish market utilising all the énergie Group brands and our dedicated club owners’ local knowledge. Our new club in Cork serves as the frontier for this exciting expansion.”

Currently comprising 15 clubs - with 250 staff employed across the group and a membership of around 19,000 - énergie Fitness Ireland aims to grow by 200 per cent by 2017.

“Abbey has already invested €8m (£6.6m, US$10.9m) establishing the énergie brand in Ireland and over the next three years we have a target of 30 new clubs, creating at least 250 new jobs,” says John Prosser, managing director of Abbey.

énergie Group, which operates almost 100 clubs across five countries, had already granted rights to Abbey for the Leinster region following its acquisition of nine Jackie Skelly health clubs in 2010 - a deal which also saw énergie become a minority shareholder in the Irish business.

With net assets in excess of €150m (£124m, US$204m), Abbey also provided the financial clout behind énergie Ireland’s €500,000 (£413,000, US$680,000) “Big Scary Gym” TV advertising campaign - ran with leading ad firm Publicis in Dublin - which aired extensively during 2013 in a bid to consolidate the brand’s position as a major player in the Irish market.

Abbey has assembled a strong leadership team to drive the expansion strategy.

UK industry veteran Innes Kerr has moved from his position as Operations Director of the énergie Group in the UK, to take up the position of Managing Director in Ireland, with responsibility for operations across the énergie brand portfolio. Innes, who joined énergie five years ago and previously oversaw the roll-out of 90 clubs over three years for Fitness First, has spent the last year in Ireland on secondment from énergie.

Acquisitions and franchise rollout will be headed by Jim Durie who joined énergie seven years ago as a master franchisee and led the team that established énergie in Scotland.

To view énergie Fitness Ireland’s “Big Scary Gym” campaign, the follow the links are below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaHl7aaQ9Mk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKRtwl-PCrg

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Health club franchisor and operator énergie Group has secured a deal with Abbey International Finance that will see up to 30 new centres roll out in Ireland over the next three years as part of an aggressive expansion plan.
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