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14 Jun 2019

New management team credited with "reversal of membership decline" at Total Fitness
BY Tom Walker

The turnaround has been credited to a

The turnaround has been credited to a "new purpose" installed by the management team, led by Sophie Lawler (pictured)

Health club operator Total Fitness has completed a turnaround of its fortunes, reversing a "steady decline in membership" in the past 12 months.

The company, which operates 17 health clubs across the North of England and Wales, has halted a long-term decline in its overall membership base, which had seen a 10 per cent reduction in the 12 months to May 2018.

Latest figures up to June 2019 show that the operator has managed to up its membership by 6,000 during the year.

It marks a successful revival of the business in less than 12 months after a new management team, led by CEO Sophie Lawler, took charge.

During the period since the new team taking over, there has been a rise in the satisfaction scores from members, with a 28 per cent increase the business’ net promoter scores (NPS).

According to Lawler, the turnaround has been achieved through "people-power", supported by tactical investments to fix critical issues.

“It was clear that we had some great people with real positive intent and a great deal of love for the business, but they were highly disengaged," Lawler said.

"There was a lack of trust – of both the centre and the future – of clear purpose, and of belief.

“We began by listening to the teams out in the clubs to understand their key challenges.

"We reacted quickly by fixing critical issues, addressing immediate performance challenges, and communicating clearly and honestly about our future, the challenges, and how we’ll find the answers.

“We’ve been building the foundations for more leadership at all levels of the business ever since – beginning by reclaiming our great purpose, building behavioural values that will bring it to life every day, and re-engineering our entire operation around them.

“I’ve been astonished and humbled by the results which proved that we have a bright, engaged, and resilient team determined to build a brilliant business. Our members can feel the difference and our NPS scores are demonstrating it, as well as areas where we can continue to grow."

The investments made by the new top team included a £500,000 cash injection into Total Fitness in Altrincham, which included a new open floorplan, upgrades to the two gym floors and a new mind and body studio.

“Our clubs are now in much better shape for the challenges to come and the planned investment will consolidate that position," Lawler added.



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