Plus Fitness signs up 70th franchise

7 Nov. 2012

Franchised gym chain Plus Fitness 24/7 has just sold its 70th territory, and opened three outlets in three days. Two Sydney gyms opened their doors at Leichardt and Chatswood, and a further venue was unveiled in Melville, Perth.

On the 6 November two sites were signed up: Gawler in South Australia, and Rozelle in Sydney - the 70th territory.

But opportunities across Sydney are becoming more limited, explained co-founder Nigel Miller.

"We're very close to running out of territories in the Sydney metro area, " he said. "In NSW now it's more regional. We'll be opening two outlets near the Victoria/NSW border: Thurgoona, just north west of Albury, which we're fitting out now, and a gym at Wodonga."

The third gym to open before Christmas will be in Sydney's Strathfield South.

"We're expanding rapidly in Perth and it's starting to mature. Once you open two to three in a city, it cranks up the enquiries in the area."

Melbourne metro is a focus for the gym group: two territories were sold out of the Melbourne Franchising and Business Opportunities Expo earlier this year, and these will supplement the franchised Oakley business and the corporate flagship gym in Flinders Street.

"Flinders Street adds to the kudos of the brand in an emerging marketplace," said Miller. 

The Oakley franchisee, who opened the outlet in July 2012, is set to sign up for a second club following excellent business growth.

The trend for multiple outlets is growing in the gym chain. While the latest signings are new franchisees in the network there are six multi unit franchisees who are all from the first generation of franchisees.

Miller told Franchising “It’s very exciting to see them doing so well. We’ve put a structure in that assists multi unit stores, put in a group manager structure for them, and help them identify who they need to recruit.

“Both [co-founder] John and I have used group managers ourselves in gyms so we have the knowledge, it’s been about putting it into an easily communicated and effective system."

So what does Miller think is helping the brand's success? "We've really nailed the territory allocations and we've always said our USP will be franchisee support, and we've streamlined the support. The feedback from our recent franchisee survey was five stars."

Another benefit to franchisee support is having experienced all-rounders in the support roles, he said.

"Our franchise support managers have worked as managers first, and now they also own their own franchise.  I think that's very key."


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