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Debenhams and Sweat! reveal roll-out plan for in-store gyms

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Retailer Debenhams and fitness operator Sweat! have unveiled the opening date for the first of a chain of instore gyms.

The first club to be operated by the partnership will launch on 10 September 2018 at the Debenhams Sutton store in south west London.

The 17,575sq ft site will offer a "friendly, group-oriented and performance driven gym experience". Facilities will include a large gym floor kitted with Technogym equipment, immersive cinematic exercise activity areas and digital health checkpoints.

The Sutton Sweat! club will be followed by two further sites in Manchester and Bristol – which are earmarked to open in 2019.

Each instore club will follow the Sweat! format, which is focused on attracting a predominately 18-33 year-old female membership base.

The initiative is part of Debenham's strategy to deliver ‘social shopping’ within its stores.

“Adding a highly innovative leisure facility to our stores is an integral part of our Debenhams Redesigned strategy, aimed at delivering ‘social shopping’. I'm keen to see customer reactions to the initiative," said Sergio Bucher, Debenhams CEO.

Frank Reed, CEO of Sweat! gyms added: ”The Sutton gym will be the sixth in Sweat’s! portfolio and our first located within a shopping environment.

"Through partnering with Debenhams we are able to offer members the convenience of having a work out, and shop as well as meet friends in a friendly and welcoming environment. We are excited to take the initiative to key urban cities, Manchester and Bristol in 2019”.

Debenhams and Sweat’s! partnership will also see gym customers offered shopping incentives which build the more they visit the gym. The benefits will include automatic enrolment into the store’s Beauty Club and preloaded cards to redeem against purchases.

Debenhams’ link up with Sweat! follows the retailers partnerships with Blow LTD to provide beauty services as well as Maisons du Monde and Swoon! to retail homewares within Debenhams stores.

Sweat! was launched by virgin co-founder Frank Reed in 2013. The company received £3.75m worth of equity investment in December 2017 to help fund the roll-out of five new clubs.

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Retailer Debenhams and fitness operator Sweat! have unveiled the opening date for the first of a chain if instore gyms.
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