Orangetheory Plans New Studios for the UK, Ireland

Orangetheory Fitness

Orangetheory Fitness is readying for expansion.

What’s happening: The HIIT studio franchiser is gearing up for growth in the UK and Ireland, with 38 studios set to join the existing nine by 2026.

Having hit $1B in sales in 2018 and 2019, the pandemic slowed Orangetheory’s growth, but since last year the franchisor “picked up the pace” on its aggressive global growth strategy, with 300 new studios overall in development.

Why it matters: With 1,800+ franchises signed across 25 countries in 13 years, OTF’s model is rooted in fast growth. Preparing to ramp up in the UK for some time, COVID and a cost-of-living crisis impeded progress, with new franchisees challenged by the $500K in upstart fees.

However, after notching up $30M in funding through corporate and franchisee investment, talks have accelerated with potential partners in London, Glasgow and Dublin.

Experience is Everything

Studio expansion is not the only way OTF is keeping up with other boutique players; it is also optimising the member experience.

  • Strength 50 classes have just launched, leveraging the strength training boom, to help members get stronger “physically and mentally”.
  • DJ Steve Aoki joined as chief music officer to create motivating setlists, aligning with an OTF survey that found 94% of members pushed harder with good music.
  • Upping personalisation, OTF rolled out MaxHR tech to track peak heart rate for those completing 20 studio sessions with its own OTBeat heart rate monitor.

Takeaway: OTF’s two-pronged approach of increasing the quality of the user experience, while creating more places for members to have those experiences, will help to keep it on track. But with HIIT franchise rival F45 delisting and “going dark”, and boutique competitor Xponential’s hypergrowth mode tempered by conservative targets, this could be OTF’s time to shine.

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