JD Gyms Snaps Up Simply Gym in UK Push

Simply Gym

JD Gyms is in growth mode.

What’s happening: The low-cost gym operator, owned by sportswear retailer JD Sports, acquired Simply Gym from Bay Leisure. Counting 89 sites, it’s nearing its goal of 100 UK clubs.

Getting to work, the new sites – one in Greater London and three in South Wales – will be rebranded as JD Gyms over the coming weeks.

Bulking up. Reinventing the low-cost model, JD Gyms targets exercisers seeking premium aesthetics and amenities, without the hefty price tag.

Swallowing rivals, acquisitions of three Ben Dunne Gyms in 2018, a Helio Fitness and 35 Xercise4Less sites in 2020 have helped scale the concept. Meanwhile, the introduction of hybrid retail and fitness sites bolsters the JD Sports brand.

Budget boom. Amid a post-pandemic fitness boom and rising demand for affordable fitness, low-cost gyms are accelerating across the UK.

  • Operating 233 UK gyms with 850K members, The Gym Group plans to add another 50 sites in urban residential areas over the next three years.
  • With revenue surpassing £148M and memberships up 8%, PureGym is targeting an additional 200 gyms in the UK and Switzerland by 2028.
  • Through 2025, Anytime Fitness will add another 25 sites to the UK, its biggest European market, increasing its total to 210.

A different approach, énergie Fitness franchisor Empowered Brands acquired UK and Ireland territory rights for staffless budget gym fit+.

Looking ahead: Despite continued headroom for low-cost gyms in the UK, catching up to the market leaders will require stamina. Dialling into market trends, JD Gyms’ premiumisation of the low-cost model is helping it carve its lane while giving chase.

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