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12 Feb 2018

Orangetheory steps up UK expansion – announces 40 new sites
BY Tom Walker

Dave Carney, president Orangetheory (left), with Orangetheory CEO Dave Long (second left) signing the master franchisee deal with Mike Dixon, chair of Wellcomm Health & Fitness (second right) and Alistair Firth, CEO of Wellcomm Health & Fitness (right)

Dave Carney, president Orangetheory (left), with Orangetheory CEO Dave Long (second left) signing the master franchisee deal with Mike Dixon, chair of Wellcomm Health & Fitness (second right) and Alistair Firth, CEO of Wellcomm Health & Fitness (right)

US-based health club operator Orangetheory Fitness is looking to strengthen its foothold in the UK market after signing a deal which will see 40 new studios open by 2028.

The company has signed a master franchise deal for the North and Midlands, covering an area from Buckinghamshire to Northumberland.

The studios will be operated by Wellcomm Health and Fitness, a company set up for the venture by a group of entrepreneurs led by chair Mike Dixon and CEO Alistair Firth. They are joined by two non-executive partners, Debra Martin and Colin Wright.

Firth said talks are at an advanced stage for the three first sites and the group aims to have at least two open during 2018.

“We’ll confirm the first site within the next month or so,” he said.

“Our strategy is to open in clusters, so wherever our first couple of sites are, we'll be looking to build additional sites within a 15-20 mile radius.

“The intention is to build brand presence in the markets we enter and then build from there – rather than have the first three sites in, say, Liverpool, Newcastle and Birmingham.”

It is the second master franchise deal Orangetheory has signed in the UK.

In April 2017, the company entered the United Kingdom market by announcing it would open 70 studios over the next decade in the south of England, including London.

There are currently four Orangetheory studios in the UK – three in London and one in Winchester, Hampshire.

Described as one of the world’s fastest-growing franchise businesses, Orangetheory launched its first studio in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 2010.

Since then it has rapidly expanded to nearly 857 studios in 47 US states and 17 countries – with another 500 studios in the development pipeline. The franchise expects to reach 1,150 open studios in 2018.

Orangetheory is based on a 60-minute, five-zone, heart-rate monitored, interval training concept.



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