HCM People
Jon Wright

We’ve set ourselves the initial goal of developing 100 Feel Electric sites, using a cluster model


Tell us about Feel Electric
We’re aiming to be the market leaders for EMS studios in the UK – we think there’s a huge opportunity to be the first genuine UK operator.
We’ve registered the Feel Electric name as a trademark so we can roll out the brand.

Why EMS?
Because it works! I’ve been doing it for about 18 months and it’s got me back to my pre-wedding shape of nearly 20 years ago and sorted out my long-term back issues. We’re getting our members fantastic, life-changing results.

Who owns the company and where has the investment come from?
It’s 100 per cent me.

How many locations are you planning?
We’re growing region by region across the UK with the intention of going nationwide.

We’ve set ourselves the initial goal of developing 100 sites, using a cluster model.

The Yorkshire region is now set up with four sites and a fifth site in Sheffield opening this month.

We’ve just secured our first site in the north west and expect to have five sites in this region by year-end.

The current open-rate is one a month and we expect to accelerate to opening two a month in 2023 as we ramp up the business.

Why should people use EMS?
It’s far more effective than a gym workout and appeals to the 80 per cent of the market who don’t want to go to the gym.

What’s your target audience?
EMS benefits everyone, from athletes to people with disabilities and from active to sedentary people and also people of every age – there literally is an unlimited target audience.

Why has the UK been a little slow to adopt EMS – do you see that changing?
That’s been a huge advantage to us, as the market is wide open and I absolutely see that changing as the UK rapidly adopts EMS.

Feel Electric is a great concept and we’re expecting strong growth, based on trading so far and our plans to scale the business.

In terms of adoption, it was exactly the same with budget health clubs when we started, so I’ve been on this journey before.

[Editor’s note: Wright, a serial entrepreneur in the fitness sector, launched the Xercise4Less chain of budget gyms with his first club at Xscape Castleford in 2010, and successfully grew the chain to around 50 clubs before they were acquired by JD Gyms out of administration during the early stages of the pandemic www.hcmmag.com/JD/X4L].

Do you have delivery partners?
Our chosen partners are Miha for the EMS setup and InBody for body composition analysis and we feel we’re with the right partners and getting great support.

Tell us about the health MOT you’re offering
We use Inbody’s 77 model to measure people’s body composition – it’s a great way for members to track their results. We also have access to the Inbody academy for staff training.

Tell us about the people who are delivering the sessions
We’re hiring qualified PTs to deliver sessions, so they have strong understanding of the physiology and exercise effects of EMS, and can motivate customers and answer any questions they have from an expert vantage point.

Do you also tie in with some sort of nutrition offer?
Yes, we’re just developing a nutritional package to sell alongside the EMS sessions to round out the offering and create an additional income stream.

Do you have a retail offering?
Not yet, we’re focusing on our core EMS offering in the short-term. But we we’ll be looking at various options that we might retail to our customers going forward as the business develops – we’re actively looking for ideas.

Will you go global?
There are no plans to go beyond the UK at this stage, as we see this market as being wide open to the opportunity and having huge potential.

You’re a serial fitness entrepreneur, are you finding the learnings transferable?
Yes, I’m using the huge learning curve that was Xercise4Less to maximise the opportunity to develop and grow Feel Electric. Having successfully rolled out a national chain before is a huge advantage.

What have been the high and low points?
I think I’m now experienced enough to have the wisdom to know that there are no such things as low points and high points, there’s just timing!
For example, when we did the private equity transactions for Xercise4Less, I thought at the time they were high points, however, I changed my mind once I understood the nature of the private equity firm we’d partnered with – but then, when the pandemic hit, I changed my mind back again.

When Xercise4Less was put up for sale during the lockdowns, I tried to buy it back and was down to the last two bidders, but I was outbid by JD Gyms.

That day felt very low, but in hindsight, it was the best thing that could have happened – for many reasons, including this new opportunity to develop the Feel Electric brand.

Feel Electric comes with its own tech platform for client engagement Credit: STOTT+ATKINSON
 


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SELECTED ISSUE
Health Club Management
2022 issue 4

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Leisure Management - Jon Wright

HCM People

Jon Wright


We’ve set ourselves the initial goal of developing 100 Feel Electric sites, using a cluster model

Wright is a serial entrepreneur and was founder of Xercise4Less STOTT+ATKINSON
Feel Electric comes with its own tech platform for client engagement STOTT+ATKINSON

Tell us about Feel Electric
We’re aiming to be the market leaders for EMS studios in the UK – we think there’s a huge opportunity to be the first genuine UK operator.
We’ve registered the Feel Electric name as a trademark so we can roll out the brand.

Why EMS?
Because it works! I’ve been doing it for about 18 months and it’s got me back to my pre-wedding shape of nearly 20 years ago and sorted out my long-term back issues. We’re getting our members fantastic, life-changing results.

Who owns the company and where has the investment come from?
It’s 100 per cent me.

How many locations are you planning?
We’re growing region by region across the UK with the intention of going nationwide.

We’ve set ourselves the initial goal of developing 100 sites, using a cluster model.

The Yorkshire region is now set up with four sites and a fifth site in Sheffield opening this month.

We’ve just secured our first site in the north west and expect to have five sites in this region by year-end.

The current open-rate is one a month and we expect to accelerate to opening two a month in 2023 as we ramp up the business.

Why should people use EMS?
It’s far more effective than a gym workout and appeals to the 80 per cent of the market who don’t want to go to the gym.

What’s your target audience?
EMS benefits everyone, from athletes to people with disabilities and from active to sedentary people and also people of every age – there literally is an unlimited target audience.

Why has the UK been a little slow to adopt EMS – do you see that changing?
That’s been a huge advantage to us, as the market is wide open and I absolutely see that changing as the UK rapidly adopts EMS.

Feel Electric is a great concept and we’re expecting strong growth, based on trading so far and our plans to scale the business.

In terms of adoption, it was exactly the same with budget health clubs when we started, so I’ve been on this journey before.

[Editor’s note: Wright, a serial entrepreneur in the fitness sector, launched the Xercise4Less chain of budget gyms with his first club at Xscape Castleford in 2010, and successfully grew the chain to around 50 clubs before they were acquired by JD Gyms out of administration during the early stages of the pandemic www.hcmmag.com/JD/X4L].

Do you have delivery partners?
Our chosen partners are Miha for the EMS setup and InBody for body composition analysis and we feel we’re with the right partners and getting great support.

Tell us about the health MOT you’re offering
We use Inbody’s 77 model to measure people’s body composition – it’s a great way for members to track their results. We also have access to the Inbody academy for staff training.

Tell us about the people who are delivering the sessions
We’re hiring qualified PTs to deliver sessions, so they have strong understanding of the physiology and exercise effects of EMS, and can motivate customers and answer any questions they have from an expert vantage point.

Do you also tie in with some sort of nutrition offer?
Yes, we’re just developing a nutritional package to sell alongside the EMS sessions to round out the offering and create an additional income stream.

Do you have a retail offering?
Not yet, we’re focusing on our core EMS offering in the short-term. But we we’ll be looking at various options that we might retail to our customers going forward as the business develops – we’re actively looking for ideas.

Will you go global?
There are no plans to go beyond the UK at this stage, as we see this market as being wide open to the opportunity and having huge potential.

You’re a serial fitness entrepreneur, are you finding the learnings transferable?
Yes, I’m using the huge learning curve that was Xercise4Less to maximise the opportunity to develop and grow Feel Electric. Having successfully rolled out a national chain before is a huge advantage.

What have been the high and low points?
I think I’m now experienced enough to have the wisdom to know that there are no such things as low points and high points, there’s just timing!
For example, when we did the private equity transactions for Xercise4Less, I thought at the time they were high points, however, I changed my mind once I understood the nature of the private equity firm we’d partnered with – but then, when the pandemic hit, I changed my mind back again.

When Xercise4Less was put up for sale during the lockdowns, I tried to buy it back and was down to the last two bidders, but I was outbid by JD Gyms.

That day felt very low, but in hindsight, it was the best thing that could have happened – for many reasons, including this new opportunity to develop the Feel Electric brand.


Originally published in Health Club Management 2022 issue 4

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