Gyms and Studio Operators Target International Expansion


In 2019, the global brick-and-mortar fitness industry was valued north of US$96B. Taking a hit during the pandemic, revenues cratered as restrictions on in-person exercise gave rise to digital and at-home competitors.

Getting back in shape, prominent and well-capitalized brands are touting a return to pre-pandemic membership levels. With the worldwide gym/studio market set to reach $170B by 2030, operators are bulking up.

Growth mode. Boosted by a £300M investment last year, PureGym made its US debut, opening three clubs under the Pure Fitness banner. Next, the high-volume, low-price brand is planning 130 gyms throughout the Middle East and North Africa by 2027, including 20 locations across the UAE.

Notching a 42% membership increase since the start of 2022, Dutch value gym Basic-Fit is continuing its growth efforts. Adding to its base of 1.1K clubs, the company recently entered Germany, where it hopes to eventually open 600 locations — helping it reach 3.5K gyms total by 2030.

Boutique brand TRIB3 recently acquired and will convert two Round11 studios in Amsterdam. The company previously teamed with Urban Gym Group to enter the Netherlands and announced a deal to open in Greece and Cyprus, part of a larger effort to develop 100 locations in ten markets.

Transatlantic. Plotting continued development around the world, US-based boutique brands are scaling franchise development.

  • 9Round finalized plans to open 50 studios across South India.
  • Mayweather Boxing + Fitness inked deals in the UAE and Japan.
  • UFC GYM struck a 70-unit deal for Germany, 100+ for UK/Ireland.
  • Xponential Fitness signed partners in the UK, Kuwait, Japan, Portugal, and more.
  • TITLE Boxing Club announced it’s bringing new studios to nine countries across Southeast Asia.

Takeaway: While things are looking up, companies like The Gym Group and F45 Training have struggled recently, proving that the road to recovery is a long one. From economic uncertainty to hybrid workouts and operational challenges, progress won’t be linear.

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