The fitness company is flexing its muscles and plans to dominate the low-cost gym market
For busy Brits on a budget, Pure Gym’s appeal is clear: it’s open 24/7, flexible memberships are reasonably priced and its outlets are kitted out with all the equipment a gym bunny needs – but without frills like salt caves and organic toiletries that come with fitness brands occupying the higher end of the market.
And after hitting the pause button on its floatation plans to see what the outcome of the EU referendum would look like, the company has announced its intention to expand in the UK and launch a £190m IPO on the London stock market.
Founded in 2008 by Yorkshireman Peter Roberts, Pure Gym has gone from strength to strength and is now the biggest operator in Britain’s £4.4m UK health and fitness club market with 163 gyms and 786,000 members across the country. And after swallowing up rival LA Fitness – which saw memberships shoot up by 50% – it’s eyeing up an even bigger market share once it has secured this latest cash injection.
The demand is certainly there: with Brits becoming increasingly health-conscious, gym memberships went up by 5.8% in 2015. Pure Gym believes there’s an opportunity in the budget space to double its size to 950 sites in the next few years. By stripping away the add-ons, offering people the chance to cancel their membership at any point and being open at all hours, its formula is also in step with the modern consumer, taking the lead from companies like Uber and Netflix and focusing on providing an affordable, on-demand, hassle-free service that fits into people's schedules.
As Pure Gym gets over its Brexit wobble, will other startups similarly feel emboldened to push on with expansion plans? Watch this space.