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UK leading fitness franchise investor Empowered Brands announces landmark deal


Empowered Brands, the Milton Keynes headquartered fitness franchise investor spearheading the growth of the UK’s leading gym franchise, énergie Fitness, and Australian-born, innovative boxing and strength training concept, UBX Boxing & Strength, has today announced the signing of a master licence agreement with fit+, a German-based pioneer in staffless gyms with over 250 locations across Europe projecting 2024 turnover in excess of €30m.

The deal will see Empowered Brands roll out fit+ gyms through a traditional franchise model across the UK & Ireland with over 200 potential locations already identified.

As a concept that was co-founded by experienced German fitness club operators and entrepreneurs Torsten Boorberg and Björn Krämer following staffing challenges they faced in the industry, the fit+ staffless gym model has seen exponential growth of 200% in just three years, with the expectation that this will rise to 300% with 320 gyms open the target, worldwide, by the end of this year.

The model, which targets smaller territories than traditional gyms, namely smaller towns, suburban and even rural areas with a target population of 6,000 - 15,000 people, will allow Empowered Brands to make fitness even more accessible and convenient for more people across the UK and Ireland, through an ultra-convenient model that provides the consumer with everything they need to workout effectively, often including 24-hour access.

Speaking on the incredible growth seen, and sharing his excitement to have penned a deal with fit+, Mark Pinner, CEO at Empowered Brands explains: “Convenience is a driving force in the industry now more than ever before, with gym goers looking for a well-equipped fitness club in the immediate vicinity of where they live, and fit+ will provide exactly that and more.”

Pinner adds: “It’s game-changing for the industry as it’s a concept that’s able to reach underserved communities easily, where perhaps they don’t currently have a convenient fitness facility, or where they do, but it has restricted hours etc. fit+ gyms will provide a range of strength, resistance, and free weights equipment, and QR codes feature on each piece of equipment to guide users on how they work. We’re really excited to roll the concept out, providing everything that people need for a complete training programme.”

Sharing the same vision to scale a concept that has already reached ten countries in just six years with plans for this to rise to some 28 across Europe, Africa and Asia with 1,000 gyms and €100m turnover targeted worldwide, Torsten Boorberg, co-founder at fit+ comments: “Empowered Brands were an obvious choice to partner with to rollout fit+ across the UK given their extensive experience in the sector, and their passion to bring the direct positive benefits fit+ gyms can have to people across local communities.”

Boorberg adds: “It’s an incredible prospect for franchisees - our gyms are operated entirely digitally, managed with just a few hours work per week. It keeps the gym’s operating costs to a minimum and provides an amazing level of freedom and flexibility for the business owner.”

As a tech driven model, everything is fully automated, from how members sign-up and enter the gym, to membership management and admin which is all processed internally.

Asides from minimising overheads and running costs, this also frees up time, energy and resources for franchise owners, and the level of investment required to kickstart owning a franchise is considerably more accessible than other options starting from just £25,000.

Pietro Nicholls, chairman of Empowered Brands and portfolio manager at RM Funds, the alternative investment management firm backing Empowered Brands comments: “fit+ will help more people to own their own gym through franchising as one of the most affordable and convenient options to get into business with a gym franchise.”

Nicholls adds: "The addition of the fit+ franchise enhances our expanding portfolio of fitness & wellness franchise brands, further solidifying our franchise royalty platform. This new offering complements our existing franchise propositions, which includes large format gyms and HIIT studios to now focusing on convenience and accessibility."

With the ease of scalability another of the model’s key selling-points for franchisees, this will further be aided by the industry-leading level of support Empowered Brands will provide to supercharge the success of fit+’s entry into the UK market.

Pinner explains: “We provide an end-to-end service to franchisees - it’s something that’s helping us achieve great success across both énergie Fitness and UBX Boxing & Strength as we roll out those concepts across the UK and Ireland, and which will also contribute significantly here.

We will provide demographic analysis to help franchisees establish a suitable territory for their fit+ gym, and will provide broader access and support across training, marketing campaigns, funding, systems, technology, operations and infrastructure.”

In line with the UK and Ireland rollout, Empowered Brands have identified the likes of professionals and entrepreneurs looking to build a side-business developing a passive income, those looking to build a portfolio of fitness clubs without the need to recruit staff or manage teams, and fitness professionals and personal trainers who perhaps want to own a gym, making fitness more accessible in their area - or where they’d like to run a personal training business from a gym whilst benefiting from monthly membership income - as key franchisee targets.

News of the deal, meanwhile, comes at a time when Empowered Brands are going from strength to strength having already this year opened two new franchised énergie Fitness gyms in Lichfield and Tooting, as well as three new UBX Boxing & Strength franchise clubs in Alderley, Windsor and Wembley, the latter of which set a new record for pre-sales in the UK with 100 members signed up before opening.

Pinner comments: “We’ve an exciting pipeline of new openings to come across both énergie Fitness and UBX Boxing & Strength, and we anticipate appeal for fit+ franchisees being just as strong, with interest already being shown among existing franchisees in our network. It’s an incredibly exciting time for the business as we look to continue to transform the UK and Ireland’s fitness landscape, both in terms of the opportunities we are able to provide for consumers, and for potential franchisees.”

Interested and want to know more about fit+?

The fit+ profile outlines all aspects of their franchise opportunity and allows you to contact them for further information or to ask a question.

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