Health and fitness franchise enjoys massive winter boost in sales and membership

Snap Fitness strengthens market position in UK and Ireland.

Health and fitness franchise enjoys massive winter boost in sales and membership

It may have been a cold winter for most UK residents, as they turn down the heating in an attempt to reduce ever-spiralling energy costs, but for health club franchise Snap Fitness, business has been hot, hot, hot. During the last four months, Snap Fitness has opened eight new locations across the UK and Ireland.

Since launching its first UK club, Snap Fitness has gone from strength to strength. It now operates a network of 86 sites across the UK and Ireland, and since the start of 2022 its membership has risen by 17.15%.

Even the network’s newest launch in south Wales has experienced a meteoric rise in early business. Pontyclun, in the Rhondda, smashed the network’s pre-sale records with over 780 members joining before it had opened its doors in February. 

Similar success was achieved at Melksham in Wiltshire, which only began trading in January. During the first month alone, this territory had registered 840 members. Samraaj Aujl, who is a multi-unit franchisee which includes the town of Melksham, said: “This success is largely down to the support of the head office team.

“It’s been over two years since my dad and I opened our first gym in Christchurch. Now we also own Cross Hands and Melksham. In total, we are servicing close to 4,000 members – with three new launches set to come in Ireland. Before joining, we had no experience of the fitness sector, so our success has all been made possible by the great support from Snap Fitness head office.

“Operational support has been fantastic, as has the help we received in marketing our locations. The team at HQ have helped me to develop new skills, and I can confidently say I now understand what it takes to run a fitness business.”

Another satisfied businessman is Bill Painter, who is Director of Development at Snap Fitness. He explained: “With over 7,000 health and fitness clubs in the UK, there’s no denying that it’s a fiercely competitive market.

“When we came out of Covid, and were able to start opening clubs again, we set our franchisees a target of achieving an opening membership of between 300 and 400. We also felt that they could reach 1,200 members by the end of the first year.

“However, the majority of our new openings have far exceeded that, with many reaching 1,200 members within five months. This clearly illustrates that the demand for gyms continues to grow.”

And other Snap Fitness territories have celebrated milestones too. Tooting, which opened in 2020, became the network’s best-performing club globally. 

Meanwhile, Waterford in Ireland was the fastest-growing club, reaching over 2,000 members inside 12 months. Waterford franchisee Peter Dhillon added: “It’s been a combination of my hard work, having a great team of club managers, as well as tapping into the excellent support we get from head office.

“They help you find the right location, along with offering additional marketing materials. My staff members have had the opportunity to constantly upskill themselves, thanks to training courses provided by head office. Their input has been invaluable.”

And the final word goes to Bill Painter, who said: “Our model has been designed to offer franchisees maximum returns by providing comprehensive support on every step of their journey. 

“We analyse everything from the gym’s location to marketing support. We have an established team of franchise business coaches to support the network and discuss best practices. If the past year has proved anything, it shows that our system clearly works.”

About Snap Fitness: Starting out in 2003 in the United States, Snap Fitness has opened master franchises in more than 20 countries across the globe. Founded by Peter Taunton, their global HQ is in Chanhassen, Minnesota – approximately 16 miles south-west of Minneapolis.

In 2004, the company began franchising in the United States, before Australia and New Zealand joined the network five years later. India, Egypt and Mexico signed up in 2012, with the UK becoming involved in October 2014.

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Andy Swales
Andy Swales