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Interview – Repeat top team
Exercise, rest, repeat

Last month saw the launch of the first two Repeat health clubs in Denmark – a new brand targeting Millennials that sets out to be loved by its target market, even if that means being hated by other groups. Kate Cracknell speaks to the team behind its creation

By Kate Cracknell | Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 10




Rasmus Ingerslev Executive chair Repeat Team

 

Rasmus Ingerslev
 

What’s your role within the Repeat team?
Ours is a team of equals. We’ve all worked together for so many years that nobody really cares what their job title is. We just care about our concept and our vision – we want to get things done – so whoever’s best suited for any given task will take it on.

That said, my specific areas of focus have always been strategy and conceptual work, and at Repeat I’ll also work on sales, marketing and branding alongside Peter Modin. In addition, I’ll be supporting Hans-Henrik in his role as chief executive. I’m also the largest shareholder in the business.

I support where I can, and where I’m not the strongest I leave it to others. That’s one of the things I’ve learned about leadership: when you have good people, you should just get out of the way and let them get on.

Tell me about Repeat
I fundamentally believe our industry has a role to play in getting everyone, of all ages, more active – but when I work out, I love being in an environment with similar people. I compare it to going clothes shopping: if you’re 30 or 40 years old, and the guy next to you who’s trying on the same sweater as you is 80, you may start to question whether the sweater is the right one for you.
We’re trying to create an environment of young, like-minded people who, when they enter our club, will feel it’s been specifically built for them. We want them to feel they belong to a community, because that will make them keep coming... hence the name Repeat.

We’ve tailored everything to match their needs and wants. There’ll be music from the moment you walk in. Décor is urban and industrial. We have a subtle scent built into the air conditioning system. We’ve spent so much time discussing the smallest details of lighting, size and placement of mirrors and so on.

Mobile devices will be used for sign-up and access, and membership is fully flexible: pay per use or pay on a weekly basis – and even with the latter, if you want to leave, you only have to give that week plus one more week’s notice. It’s designed to give power to the consumer. We’re trying to create the ultimate, flexible, user-friendly fitness experience for this target market.

It’s a risk, because only about 800,000 people in Denmark belong to a health club – and of those 800,000, we’re expecting a significant number will come into our gym and think it’s the worst place they’ve ever been. In fact, if that isn’t happening, we won’t have done our job properly. Because if nobody hates it, nobody loves it.

I come back to clothing. Obviously you can make something that will fit almost everybody and look OK on them – but it wouldn’t make a statement. Not about the person developing it, nor the person wearing it. We’re definitely making a statement with our clubs.

This sounds like a concept for those already into fitness?
Inevitably we’ll attract some existing members from other clubs, but just moving members from club A to club B doesn’t really make an impact from an overall perspective. We want to get more people active.

Repeat is for anyone who’s passionate about fitness, but also anyone who wants to find their passion for fitness surrounded by like-minded people.

It’s like going into an Apple Store, which is paradise for anyone in a certain demographic group who wants to get acquainted with technology – it’s been designed with them in mind, so they feel extremely welcome, in addition to which the ease of use is phenomenal.

What does membership cost?
It costs 39DKK (about £5 / €6) for a week, and the same for a one-off visit.

Several journalists have accused us of initiating a price war, but that isn’t what this is about. We didn’t even compare our prices to other operators – we just asked our target group what they were willing to pay to assess the price elasticity among Millennials.

Will the clubs be staffed?
They will, although not heavily staffed, and all classes will be virtual. However, the staff who are there will act as hosts who welcome their guests and who are empowered to do whatever’s needed to create the right user experience.

We’re also reaching out to some of the best personal trainers in the areas where we’re opening clubs. We’re giving a limited number of them the opportunity to bring their business into our clubs free of charge, because we want our members to have access to the very best people.

What are your long-term plans?
Repeat isn’t going to be that big in Denmark – it was never meant to be – but hopefully it will be really great. This is a passion project. What we will have, though, is a recipe for our concept, so in the long term we can work with partners in other parts of the world to roll the Repeat brand out there.

What most excites you about the new venture?
I started with a picture in my mind, but then I needed to break it down into pieces so it could be executed. You have to give different pieces to different people, so you don’t see the full picture again until the end.

What’s giving me goosebumps is that the full and final picture, now that it’s been pieced back together again – with our first two clubs now open in Copenhagen and Odense – is even better than I’d originally envisaged.


"Many people will think our club is the worst place they’ve ever been. If not, we won’t have done our job properly. Because if nobody hates it, nobody loves it" – Rasmus Ingerslev



Hans-Henrik Sørensen CEO Repeat

 

Hans-Henrik Sørensen
 

How has Repeat’s management team been put together?
Rasmus and I have worked closely since I joined fitness dk [the first chain launched by Ingerslev] in 2001, and in 2010 we joined forces to set up low-cost operation Fresh Fitness.

Peter Rehhoff and Peter Modin both joined Fresh Fitness in key positions, as portfolio director and business development manager. We then sold the business in December 2014.

The decision to start Repeat together was an easy one. The four of us have very different competencies that, when combined, cover all key areas of our business. We also share common work values and a unique passion for training. On top of that we actually enjoy each others’ company, which helps when you work together day and night to bring your vision to life.

What have been the biggest challenges with Repeat so far?
Without a doubt, the biggest challenge has been the technical development that had to happen to deliver our strategy of a seamless user experience. This is essential to our concept.
We partnered with Exerp and went through an extensive R&D and integration phase to get to the stage where our members can use their mobile phones to sign up, enter and exit the club, change status from weekly to ‘pay as you go’ membership, upload their own profile pictures, buy products from the vending machines and so on.

Another area where we’ve challenged ourselves is in club design. We’ve deliberately chosen to look outside our industry to gather inspiration from nightclubs, theatres, cafés, clothing stores and so on to inspire our unique take on a club designed for Millennials.

What are your goals for the Repeat business?
A year from now, I expect Repeat to have its first three to five clubs well established in Denmark. At that point, we’ll have learned some early but important lessons from members – good and bad. I’ll want to see us build on the good ones and act on the bad ones to continually improve our concept.

Five years from now, we’ll have 10–15 clubs spread across Denmark’s largest cities, by which point Repeat will have found its core conceptual standpoint from which scalability is possible.

Ten years from now, I envisage Repeat as a well-known and respected club chain that’s attracted international attention. Through local partnerships, we’ll be present in the most prominent cities around the world. 


"Ten years from now, through local partnerships, Repeat will be present in the most prominent cities around the world" – Hans-Henrik Sørensen



Peter Rehhoff Portfolio director Repeat

 

Peter Rehhoff
 

What does your role entail?
I’m in charge of expansion for Repeat: market analysis, finding and assessing locations and so on.

I’m also in charge of lease contracts, getting building permits sorted and contractors brought in for build projects, and I source our gym equipment.

What sort of club locations are you looking for?
Repeat is a city concept. We’re only looking in the four biggest cities in Denmark – Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus and Aalborg – in city centre locations. Our clubs will all be in highly populated areas, near public transport, and if possible with big windows at the front so passers-by can glance in to see what it’s all about.

The optimum size is around 1,500sq m, but location is more important than the size. In Copenhagen, we can go down to around 800sq m because there are no big leaseholds available.

What’s on offer in the clubs?
A lot of cardio, some strength machines, a lot of free weights and functional training. All the equipment is high-end.

There are also virtual class pods on the gym floor, usually separate high- and low-intensity pods. They’re around 30sq m each and can hold up to eight people. At times there might be more demand than supply, but at quiet times of the day there might only be a couple of people in there. There’s no point having a huge, and often empty, studio.

Would you describe Repeat as a low-cost operation?
We’re actually not a low-cost club – we’re a focused club. Whatever services and facilities we’ve chosen to provide for members will all be delivered to the highest possible standards.

We have such a lot of knowledge and experience in our management team, and with Repeat we’ve started with a blank piece of paper. We focus on doing only the best of everything and foregoing the rest – and that helps us to maintain very attractive prices for consumers.

How significant a player do you plan to be in Denmark?
Market leader Fitness World has around 150 clubs, and fitness dk around 40, so we’re going to be a lot smaller than they are – but they’re all over the country and in the smaller cities, whereas we’ll only be in the larger cities.

Even in the larger cities, though, we won’t have as many clubs as them. But then that’s the whole point of Repeat: we’re not for everyone. We’ve deliberately set out not to be.


"We’re not low-cost – we’re focused. The services and facilities we’ve chosen to provide are delivered to the highest standards" – Peter Rehhoff



Peter Modin Business Development Director Repeat

 

Peter Modin
 

What’s your background, and what’s your role at Repeat?
I have a masters in market analysis and statistics and spent time working in a business intelligence team at Deloitte. At Repeat I have a wide range of responsibilities including IT, development projects such as our website and apps, and our marketing activities.

How would you describe Repeat’s target market?
Our primary target group is young Millennials, aged between 19 and 25, but we’ll also attract a small number of older people who are young at heart.

These people are very keen to tell their own story and be unique in various aspects of their lives. And because we target those who want to express themselves, we communicate to the heart rather than the head – we focus on feelings in our marketing, rather than facts or prices.

Why is the Repeat model right for the fitness market of today?
The fitness market in Denmark is characterised by one very big provider, Fitness World, and generally there’s little differentiation in the market – price and location are everything.
So there’s a real hunger for something new. We wanted to create a more lifestyle-orientated product, but without price as a limiting factor.

What most excites you about the Repeat business?
There are three things. First is the flexibility in our model, with weekly memberships and pay as you go – this is new in Denmark. Secondly our décor, which we’ve developed in conjunction with an award-winning architect. And finally, the passion with which Repeat has been created. Every little thing has been thought of, right down to deliberating over our choice of taps in the bathrooms.

What’s the thinking behind your pricing strategy?
It’s all about making everything as easy and flexible as possible for our young members. We don’t want to put up any barriers that might stop people trying and using Repeat. We’re very aware that we don’t own our members – we create the right product and then it’s up to them how they want to consume it.

We’re currently estimating that around 10 per cent of our customers will attend on a pay as you go basis.

And how about your app?
Our app is the focal point for members. It generates QR codes to access the club, allows you to make vending machine purchases, and any changes to your membership are also made via the app. This frees up staff to focus on other tasks, helps create a smoother user experience, and offers vastly enhanced opportunities for member communication.


Repeat’s target market is Millennials and the young at heart
Décor at the new clubs is urban and industrial
Repeat offers virtual group exercise classes in pods on the gym floor
Repeat is creating a community of like-minded people
Membership prices are low, but the equipment is all high-end
 


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SELECTED ISSUE
Health Club Management
2016 issue 10

View issue contents

Leisure Management - Exercise, rest, repeat

Interview – Repeat top team

Exercise, rest, repeat


Last month saw the launch of the first two Repeat health clubs in Denmark – a new brand targeting Millennials that sets out to be loved by its target market, even if that means being hated by other groups. Kate Cracknell speaks to the team behind its creation

Kate Cracknell
The Repeat management team (l-r): Peter Rehhoff, Rasmus Ingerslev, Peter Modin and Hans-Henrik Hans-Henrik Sørensen
Repeat’s target market is Millennials and the young at heart
Décor at the new clubs is urban and industrial
Repeat offers virtual group exercise classes in pods on the gym floor
Repeat is creating a community of like-minded people
Membership prices are low, but the equipment is all high-end



Rasmus Ingerslev Executive chair Repeat Team

 

Rasmus Ingerslev
 

What’s your role within the Repeat team?
Ours is a team of equals. We’ve all worked together for so many years that nobody really cares what their job title is. We just care about our concept and our vision – we want to get things done – so whoever’s best suited for any given task will take it on.

That said, my specific areas of focus have always been strategy and conceptual work, and at Repeat I’ll also work on sales, marketing and branding alongside Peter Modin. In addition, I’ll be supporting Hans-Henrik in his role as chief executive. I’m also the largest shareholder in the business.

I support where I can, and where I’m not the strongest I leave it to others. That’s one of the things I’ve learned about leadership: when you have good people, you should just get out of the way and let them get on.

Tell me about Repeat
I fundamentally believe our industry has a role to play in getting everyone, of all ages, more active – but when I work out, I love being in an environment with similar people. I compare it to going clothes shopping: if you’re 30 or 40 years old, and the guy next to you who’s trying on the same sweater as you is 80, you may start to question whether the sweater is the right one for you.
We’re trying to create an environment of young, like-minded people who, when they enter our club, will feel it’s been specifically built for them. We want them to feel they belong to a community, because that will make them keep coming... hence the name Repeat.

We’ve tailored everything to match their needs and wants. There’ll be music from the moment you walk in. Décor is urban and industrial. We have a subtle scent built into the air conditioning system. We’ve spent so much time discussing the smallest details of lighting, size and placement of mirrors and so on.

Mobile devices will be used for sign-up and access, and membership is fully flexible: pay per use or pay on a weekly basis – and even with the latter, if you want to leave, you only have to give that week plus one more week’s notice. It’s designed to give power to the consumer. We’re trying to create the ultimate, flexible, user-friendly fitness experience for this target market.

It’s a risk, because only about 800,000 people in Denmark belong to a health club – and of those 800,000, we’re expecting a significant number will come into our gym and think it’s the worst place they’ve ever been. In fact, if that isn’t happening, we won’t have done our job properly. Because if nobody hates it, nobody loves it.

I come back to clothing. Obviously you can make something that will fit almost everybody and look OK on them – but it wouldn’t make a statement. Not about the person developing it, nor the person wearing it. We’re definitely making a statement with our clubs.

This sounds like a concept for those already into fitness?
Inevitably we’ll attract some existing members from other clubs, but just moving members from club A to club B doesn’t really make an impact from an overall perspective. We want to get more people active.

Repeat is for anyone who’s passionate about fitness, but also anyone who wants to find their passion for fitness surrounded by like-minded people.

It’s like going into an Apple Store, which is paradise for anyone in a certain demographic group who wants to get acquainted with technology – it’s been designed with them in mind, so they feel extremely welcome, in addition to which the ease of use is phenomenal.

What does membership cost?
It costs 39DKK (about £5 / €6) for a week, and the same for a one-off visit.

Several journalists have accused us of initiating a price war, but that isn’t what this is about. We didn’t even compare our prices to other operators – we just asked our target group what they were willing to pay to assess the price elasticity among Millennials.

Will the clubs be staffed?
They will, although not heavily staffed, and all classes will be virtual. However, the staff who are there will act as hosts who welcome their guests and who are empowered to do whatever’s needed to create the right user experience.

We’re also reaching out to some of the best personal trainers in the areas where we’re opening clubs. We’re giving a limited number of them the opportunity to bring their business into our clubs free of charge, because we want our members to have access to the very best people.

What are your long-term plans?
Repeat isn’t going to be that big in Denmark – it was never meant to be – but hopefully it will be really great. This is a passion project. What we will have, though, is a recipe for our concept, so in the long term we can work with partners in other parts of the world to roll the Repeat brand out there.

What most excites you about the new venture?
I started with a picture in my mind, but then I needed to break it down into pieces so it could be executed. You have to give different pieces to different people, so you don’t see the full picture again until the end.

What’s giving me goosebumps is that the full and final picture, now that it’s been pieced back together again – with our first two clubs now open in Copenhagen and Odense – is even better than I’d originally envisaged.


"Many people will think our club is the worst place they’ve ever been. If not, we won’t have done our job properly. Because if nobody hates it, nobody loves it" – Rasmus Ingerslev



Hans-Henrik Sørensen CEO Repeat

 

Hans-Henrik Sørensen
 

How has Repeat’s management team been put together?
Rasmus and I have worked closely since I joined fitness dk [the first chain launched by Ingerslev] in 2001, and in 2010 we joined forces to set up low-cost operation Fresh Fitness.

Peter Rehhoff and Peter Modin both joined Fresh Fitness in key positions, as portfolio director and business development manager. We then sold the business in December 2014.

The decision to start Repeat together was an easy one. The four of us have very different competencies that, when combined, cover all key areas of our business. We also share common work values and a unique passion for training. On top of that we actually enjoy each others’ company, which helps when you work together day and night to bring your vision to life.

What have been the biggest challenges with Repeat so far?
Without a doubt, the biggest challenge has been the technical development that had to happen to deliver our strategy of a seamless user experience. This is essential to our concept.
We partnered with Exerp and went through an extensive R&D and integration phase to get to the stage where our members can use their mobile phones to sign up, enter and exit the club, change status from weekly to ‘pay as you go’ membership, upload their own profile pictures, buy products from the vending machines and so on.

Another area where we’ve challenged ourselves is in club design. We’ve deliberately chosen to look outside our industry to gather inspiration from nightclubs, theatres, cafés, clothing stores and so on to inspire our unique take on a club designed for Millennials.

What are your goals for the Repeat business?
A year from now, I expect Repeat to have its first three to five clubs well established in Denmark. At that point, we’ll have learned some early but important lessons from members – good and bad. I’ll want to see us build on the good ones and act on the bad ones to continually improve our concept.

Five years from now, we’ll have 10–15 clubs spread across Denmark’s largest cities, by which point Repeat will have found its core conceptual standpoint from which scalability is possible.

Ten years from now, I envisage Repeat as a well-known and respected club chain that’s attracted international attention. Through local partnerships, we’ll be present in the most prominent cities around the world. 


"Ten years from now, through local partnerships, Repeat will be present in the most prominent cities around the world" – Hans-Henrik Sørensen



Peter Rehhoff Portfolio director Repeat

 

Peter Rehhoff
 

What does your role entail?
I’m in charge of expansion for Repeat: market analysis, finding and assessing locations and so on.

I’m also in charge of lease contracts, getting building permits sorted and contractors brought in for build projects, and I source our gym equipment.

What sort of club locations are you looking for?
Repeat is a city concept. We’re only looking in the four biggest cities in Denmark – Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus and Aalborg – in city centre locations. Our clubs will all be in highly populated areas, near public transport, and if possible with big windows at the front so passers-by can glance in to see what it’s all about.

The optimum size is around 1,500sq m, but location is more important than the size. In Copenhagen, we can go down to around 800sq m because there are no big leaseholds available.

What’s on offer in the clubs?
A lot of cardio, some strength machines, a lot of free weights and functional training. All the equipment is high-end.

There are also virtual class pods on the gym floor, usually separate high- and low-intensity pods. They’re around 30sq m each and can hold up to eight people. At times there might be more demand than supply, but at quiet times of the day there might only be a couple of people in there. There’s no point having a huge, and often empty, studio.

Would you describe Repeat as a low-cost operation?
We’re actually not a low-cost club – we’re a focused club. Whatever services and facilities we’ve chosen to provide for members will all be delivered to the highest possible standards.

We have such a lot of knowledge and experience in our management team, and with Repeat we’ve started with a blank piece of paper. We focus on doing only the best of everything and foregoing the rest – and that helps us to maintain very attractive prices for consumers.

How significant a player do you plan to be in Denmark?
Market leader Fitness World has around 150 clubs, and fitness dk around 40, so we’re going to be a lot smaller than they are – but they’re all over the country and in the smaller cities, whereas we’ll only be in the larger cities.

Even in the larger cities, though, we won’t have as many clubs as them. But then that’s the whole point of Repeat: we’re not for everyone. We’ve deliberately set out not to be.


"We’re not low-cost – we’re focused. The services and facilities we’ve chosen to provide are delivered to the highest standards" – Peter Rehhoff



Peter Modin Business Development Director Repeat

 

Peter Modin
 

What’s your background, and what’s your role at Repeat?
I have a masters in market analysis and statistics and spent time working in a business intelligence team at Deloitte. At Repeat I have a wide range of responsibilities including IT, development projects such as our website and apps, and our marketing activities.

How would you describe Repeat’s target market?
Our primary target group is young Millennials, aged between 19 and 25, but we’ll also attract a small number of older people who are young at heart.

These people are very keen to tell their own story and be unique in various aspects of their lives. And because we target those who want to express themselves, we communicate to the heart rather than the head – we focus on feelings in our marketing, rather than facts or prices.

Why is the Repeat model right for the fitness market of today?
The fitness market in Denmark is characterised by one very big provider, Fitness World, and generally there’s little differentiation in the market – price and location are everything.
So there’s a real hunger for something new. We wanted to create a more lifestyle-orientated product, but without price as a limiting factor.

What most excites you about the Repeat business?
There are three things. First is the flexibility in our model, with weekly memberships and pay as you go – this is new in Denmark. Secondly our décor, which we’ve developed in conjunction with an award-winning architect. And finally, the passion with which Repeat has been created. Every little thing has been thought of, right down to deliberating over our choice of taps in the bathrooms.

What’s the thinking behind your pricing strategy?
It’s all about making everything as easy and flexible as possible for our young members. We don’t want to put up any barriers that might stop people trying and using Repeat. We’re very aware that we don’t own our members – we create the right product and then it’s up to them how they want to consume it.

We’re currently estimating that around 10 per cent of our customers will attend on a pay as you go basis.

And how about your app?
Our app is the focal point for members. It generates QR codes to access the club, allows you to make vending machine purchases, and any changes to your membership are also made via the app. This frees up staff to focus on other tasks, helps create a smoother user experience, and offers vastly enhanced opportunities for member communication.



Originally published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 10

Published by Leisure Media Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd