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17 Jan 2019

V1be plans to establish London boutique concept in Manchester
BY Tom Walker

The treadmill-based HIIT studio was launched in March 2017

The treadmill-based HIIT studio was launched in March 2017

Andy Tee, co-founder of boutique fitness studio V1BE, has revealed plans to expand the concept from a single site in Manchester using a combination of organic growth and franchising.

Launched in March 2017, the treadmill-based HIIT studio uses MyZone fitness tracking belts and offers training accompanied by music specially designed to match the workouts.

In an interview with Health Club Management, Tee said setting up a premium studio in the north west posed some unique challenges.

"In London, people are familiar with the boutique concept, but elsewhere it’s still relatively new," Tee said.

"So initially it was a challenge to educate people in Manchester about our benefits, when they were used to paying budget club prices."

Tee added that the challenges have been reflected in the business model.

"Unlike other boutiques, we’re encouraging users to sign up for membership rather than pay as you go, as we like the cash flow which recurring payments bring," he said.

"To pay as you go costs £15 per class, while five classes a month costs £45 via direct debit and unlimited access is £95."

Tee set up V1BE following a career in fitness. He is a former director at Simply Gym, a budget chain which went from a start-up to 12 clubs in five years.

He is one of three people driving the brand – the others are Kevin Scott, the former chief executive of the Harlands Group and Gareth Evans, an industry veteran with experience owning and operating budget and mid-range clubs.

The trio now plans to grow the concept.

"The second site is lined up for this year," Tee said.

"However, the main focus is to franchise V1BE and the model has been set up with this in mind. Outline discussions for the franchise are already taking place.

"We also see the potential for a ‘club within a club’ scenario. There are traditional health clubs out there with spare space and capacity where we feel there would be a mutual benefit to having a V1BE on site."

To read the full interview with Tee, click here for Health Club Management February issue.



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