BERLIN, Germany — Germany’s largest fitness operator McFit has launched a brand new fitness concept with the aim of rolling it out across Europe.
The low-cost gym chain, which boasts over one million members, anticipates opening 30 new studios before the end of 2017.
Originally launched in Bonn and Salzburg in July 2016, John Reed Fitness Music Clubs focus on elements of design and music to create the “atmosphere of a dance club”. Studios host live DJ sets every week, showcasing an eclectic range of music “to drive athletes to peak performances,” while the decor of each club pushes the boundaries of design.
Inspired by McFIT Founder Rainer Schaller’s travels, customers can expect to find union jack rugs, faux leather sofas and large buddhas alongside the usual array of exercise equipment.
With fitness memberships breaking the 10 million mark for the first time in Germany in 2016, McFit is leveraging the upturn aggressively. Earlier this month, the fitness giant launched a ‘concept store’ in Berlin unveiling its plans to launch a second separate chain of virtual-only studios, which it also plans to introduce throughout Europe.
According to Health Club Management, the €10m venue called ‘World of Cyberonics’ is envisioned as both a gym, information point and a new tourist attraction for Berlin. “This space is designed to redefine fitness and catapult it into the future,” McFit spokesperson Pierre Geisensetter told the publication.
“We take visitors on a journey where they forget and escape their everyday life. The aim is for them to focus entirely on themselves and their workouts, and this can only function in symbiosis with good design,” he added.
A far cry from the brand’s roots, both of McFit’s new experiential concepts target the more premium end of the fitness market, which for a company that’s built it success off the back of the budget model, might appear to be a risky move.
However, with fitness club revenues in Europe rising by almost 5% percent last year to €26.7 billion, and the premium model continuing to poach customers from mid-market operators, the potential return on investment could well be worth the gamble.