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Franchise specialist Richard North appointed CEO at United Fitness Brands

Richard North has been appointed CEO of United Fitness Brands
North’s background suggests franchising may be the way forward for the company
The boutique specialist has recently launched a Reformer Pilates concept, Reformcore in London
Two more sites are in the pipeline for the new brand
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c£65,000pa + pension + benefits
location: mount batten centre, plymouth, United Kingdom
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Richard North has taken up the role of CEO at United Fitness Brands (UFB), owner of five boutique fitness brands.

Announcing his new role, North said: “It’s an honour to lead an incredibly passionate team with a laser focus on propelling growth and expansion, not just in the UK but globally. Exciting times ahead as we bring the unique essence of Barrecore, Kobox, Boxing Club, Boom Cycle, triyoga UK and the newly-formed Reformcore to even more people.”

The move follows a tumultuous time during the pandemic’s darkest days, when London boutiques were hit hard and some high-profile directors stepped down from UFB, including Robert Rowland, Joe Cohen and David Lloyd.

Existing investor, Nectar Capital LLP took a controlling interest in the company on 12 September 2023. The business is also backed by Dominus, Prism Finance and Madison Cairn.

North started his career as sales and marketing manager at Cannons in 2005, before moving to The Academy Health Club & Spa, then on to business development for FitPro and Les Mills. In 2013 he moved into franchising with Anytime Fitness UK and was most recently European head of franchise development at technology company Getir.

The appointment of a franchising heavyweight as CEO, suggests this may be the direction the company is intending to take going forward.

Launched in 2021, United Fitness Brands has a portfolio of predominantly London-based boutique studios which it intends to take across the UK and internationally.

Built on the back of the Reformer Pilates trend, the new Reformcore brand currently has a site open in Chelsea, with two studios opening soon in St Mary Axe and Mayfair, London.

Curated for power, strength and core fitness, Reformcore uses Reformer Pilates machines to build muscular endurance and strength and is described as high energy and low impact.

It's up against Xponential’s reformer brand, Club Pilates, which has also just launched in London.

'Fight Club meets nightclub', boxing concept, Kobox

Launched in 2011, Barrecore has 10 studios in London and three in the North of England and has an online service, Barrecore On Demand. It joined the UFB portfolio in April 2021.

Also founded in 2011, 'party on a bike' concept, Boom Cycle currently has five studios across London.

Offering yoga, Pilates and barre, triyoga is the company’s longest established brand, with four London sites and an online programme. It was groundbreaking when it launched in 2000, bringing yoga out of village halls and into the mainstream.

Triyoga went into administration on 22 September 2022, but has continued to trade after administrators sold its assets to Dalai Holdings Ltd. The company told HCM Triyoga is now trading well.

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Richard North has taken up the role of CEO at United Fitness Brands, owner of five boutique fitness brands.