The Gym Group eyes Toys R Us shops to beef up its chain
The no-frills fitness chain has its sights set on empty retail space amid plans to open up to another 20 new gyms this year.
The Gym Group is looking to muscle in on some of the shops left vacant by recent retail collapses such as Toys R Us, after reporting a second year of profits.
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The no-frills fitness chain has its sights set on the empty shops as it is planning further expansion in 2018, with up to 20 new gyms expected to be opened.
It follows a year of “significant success” in 2017, according to the group, which revealed profits surging by a third to £9.2 million and adding 21 new gyms, including 18 acquired from Lifestyle Fitness.
Chief executive John Treharne said the group was set for another year of “substantial growth”, with the failure of high street names such as Toys R Us and Maplin offering further potential for expansion.
The Gym Group now has 128 gyms across the UK and 664,000 members, having signed up 159,000 new members last year and another 57,000 in the first two months of 2018 alone.
Its revenues jumped 24.3% to £91.4 million, helping it achieve its second year in a row of annual profits.
The group made its maiden full-year profit in 2016, having floated on the stock market the previous year.
We have made considerable progress in 2017 and were the fastest growing low cost fitness operator John Treharne, chief executive
Mr Treharne said: “We have made considerable progress in 2017 and were the fastest growing low-cost fitness operator, substantially increasing our market share and rapidly expanding our estate.”
“We have had a strong start to 2018 and are excited about the future ,” he added.
But the group came under fire late last year when Labour MP Frank Field slammed the group for alleged “egregious” and “dubious” working practices in relation to its contracts with personal trainers.
Mr Field took the firm to task after a whistleblower highlighted the terms of the company’s policy when signing up so-called “freelance independent personal trainers”.
Under the self-employed contracts, they had to give notice of holidays, wear a uniform at all times, work to specific shift patterns, are restricted with regard to setting prices and must give notice of the termination of the agreement.