Fitness First Makes History
UK Club Company is First to Hit 500 "Owned" Facilities
This past winter, Fitness First (FT), based in the UK, marked an historic achievement: the chain, already the world's largest, became the first company to reach the goal of having 500 "owned" locations.
The chain's 500th facility, which opened in Sydney in November, reflects FF's ambitious and aggressive growth strategy, and, in particular, that of its Australian division. Fitness First Australia (FFA) now has 66 clubs, 4,500 employees, and morn than 300,000 members. It recently scored 30% year-on-year growth, and, although it operates just 12.5% of FF's facilities, represents 30% of the company's value. FFA intends to open 15 additional clubs during fiscal 2007, and to have 100 open by the end of next year.
"Fitness First Australia has become recognized as one of the fastest-growing health club businesses in the world," says Tony de Leede, its managing director. "It's fitting that the global milestone of 500 clubs occurred in Australia."
In all, FF boasts more than 1.5 million members in 15 countries. In addition to Australia and the UK, it also has facilities in Belgium, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates.
Tony de Leede is a member of The Leading Edge Roundtable.
Club Business International