Stuart Broster, CEO of Anytime Fitness UK, has revealed plans to become the UK's largest fitness chain – as well as grow its portfolio across the globe.
Speaking exclusively to Health Club Management
, Broster said the group is making plans to establish a presence in a number of new countries over the next two years.
"We recently secured an agreement with a master franchisee in Morocco and plan to open several gyms there within five years," he said.
"We also plan to open more locations in China, building on the 11 we already have there. China is a special market for us, as we celebrated the opening of our 4,000th gym on 16 March 2018 in Shanghai.
"We’re the first and only US-based gym operator to get a franchising licence in China and it’s proving successful, so we’re keen to build on it."
The group raised some eyebrows earlier this year, when it revealed plans to establish itself as the only franchised brand in the world to operate on every continent.
Broster confirmed that the announcement wasn't a gimmick and that the group has genuinely toyed with the idea of conquering the globe's "last frontier"
"Chuck Runyon – co-founder of Anytime Fitness – is determined that we should have a gym on every continent, so he’s already been exploring options for Antarctica," Broster said.
"He’s in no doubt that it’s going to happen. In a franchise world that includes household names such as McDonald’s and Subway, it would be a notable accolade to be the only franchise with sites open on every continent."
Broster added that, as part of the global growth plans, the chain will introduce new developments to its member offer.
"We’re looking at the overall experience that we’re delivering to members at club level and have various future partnerships lined up to both attract and retain members," he said.
"We’re also looking into better demographic profiling of our members and prospects, with a view to creating different types of membership.
"We’ll soon be introducing Anytime Prime, for example: a new membership for the more mature market. In addition, a lot of our members are parents, so we’re looking to partner with a leading group exercise provider to white label an exercise programme for children.
"Something else we’re looking at is increasing the functional space that is available in our clubs to capitalise on the growth in demand for this style of training and also to create more group exercise opportunities as part of the mix."
Anytime Fitness currently has more than 4,000 clubs across the world, including 144 in the UK.
To read the full interview with Stuart Broster, click here for the July issue of Health Club Management