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The past few years have opened up a wealth of new property opportunities for franchisees and alongside its property partners, Anytime Fitness is helping to pinpoint the perfect locations for its new gym openings.
To do this, it has launched ‘Hot Locations’, a brand-new data-driven approach to identifying locations that have the most potential to deliver return on investment for its franchisees.
Hot Locations considers a wealth of data to determine the probability of the target population in that area becoming Anytime Fitness members. The model helps franchisees take any guessing out of choosing a location for a gym, so while there may be an area that looks great on paper, there could be numerous determining factors that mean it would never get off the ground.
This data includes the size and population of the area, its demographics compared to existing Anytime Fitness members, social grading and the presence of existing retail businesses to name but a few. Upon reviewing this data, a location and its immediate 5-mile radius are given a percentage score and only if it reaches a certain threshold, will Anytime Fitness consider offering this location to a potential franchisee.
“Location is integral to operating a successful gym and the launch of Hot Locations is a huge step forward for our business,” said Daniel Penn, Head of Network Development at Anytime Fitness UK. “As a franchisor, the most important thing for us is a return on investment for our franchisees and having this wealth of data at our fingertips will allow us to have great confidence in our decision making when advising our franchisees on potential gym locations.
“The combination of this data and the experience of operating over 180 gyms across the UK and Ireland gives us a great pipeline of gym openings. We’re already seeing new and existing franchisees lock in some of these locations, such is their confidence in the quality of the data and advice that we’re providing.”
Something that this data has reinforced is the ongoing impact of the ‘donut effect’, which refers to the increased spending and relocation numbers to suburban areas outside of larger city centres. Trading Anytime Fitness clubs in these suburban areas have had a 19% increase in turnover in the first three months of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022.
In addition, member spend increased by 14% and average visits per month of its members rose by 9%.
As well as the increased spending in these suburban areas, they also present a wealth of opportunities for the leisure industry. Due to a combination of factors such as national banks downsizing and unfortunate recent retail casualties, there are now properties available in high footfall locations such as retail centres and high streets. This means that there is now greater scope for franchisees to open gyms in the heart of these ‘Hot Locations’ and set themselves up for success.
Anytime Fitness has a strong pipeline of new gym openings for the rest of 2023, with these high-performing suburban locations at the heart of their growth.
“Our industry’s recovery in the past two years has put us in a stronger position than ever with landlords, who see the benefits and long-term stability of gym operators,” added Dan.
“With hybrid working here to stay, suburban locations are a fantastic opportunity for us as you’re seeing a greater number of home workers and relocation to these areas. This is something seen by the hospitality industry too and given the population’s increased consideration to their health and wellbeing, there is significant demand for gyms in these locations.”
Anytime Fitness kicked off the launch of Hot Locations with a special event at the London Stadium in September. The event was attended by a range of new franchisees, as well as existing franchisees who are looking to scale their investment in Anytime Fitness and open further locations. The event gave them the chance to see exactly how the data behind Hot Locations works, as well as the locations with the most potential that are currently available to them to pursue.
With property opportunities ever-evolving, Hot Locations will consistently be reviewed and added, giving franchisees regular access to up-to-date information about where to invest.
Further strengthening its property offering, one of Anytime Fitness’ key property partners is real estate services provider, Savills. Their extensive experience of commercial real estate enables them to pinpoint these Hot Locations with Anytime Fitness, helping to identify suitable properties in these locations, as well as helping to negotiate favourable rental terms with landlords.
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