Snap Fitness to open 19 gyms this year as swift growth continues

Snap Fitness swift growth
Chris Caldwell heads up Lift Brands Asia-Pacific, the parent company of Snap Fitness Australia. (Source: Supplied)

Snap Fitness will open 19 gyms across Australia and New Zealand this year; 15 gyms will launch in Asia.

The brand sold 42 new franchises across Australia and New Zealand last year, and opened 14 across both countries.

Chris Caldwell, CEO of Lift Brands Asia Pacific, the franchisor of Snap Fitness Australia and New Zealand, told Franchise Executives there is a strong demand from current and new franchisees.

“In 2021 we averaged about 80 qualified leads per month, now we’re averaging 480 leads per month. In April alone we signed 21 new franchise agreements,” he said.

Club ROI a driver for recruitment

Caldwell said current club performance accounts for franchise recruitment success.

“About half our growth is driven by reinvesting franchisees who are happy with the performance of their business at unit level. Our clubs are trading at their strongest performance since 2014,” he said.

Meadowbank and St Clare in Sydney opened recently, each with 1000 members, putting them in a strong financial position from day one.

“Financial performance on average gives a return between two and a half and three years. This is a strong business model. You can’t get a FRANdata 5-star rating without sustained strong ROI for franchisees,” he said.

Franchisees are business operators

Typically incoming franchisees are existing business operators who understand the demands of small business.

“We don’t encourage an investor model, we find experienced business operators looking at ROI and deciding its lucrative option.

“We are focused on those who can see the benefits quickly and who are in a financial position to afford the purchase.”

The US-based business released its Franchise Disclosure Document today. It costs between $600,000 and $1.2 million to invest in a new Snap Fitness club in Australia.

Consumer demand for fitness continues to increase, Caldwell said.

Growing consumer demand

“Worldwide gym memberships still only reach 20 per cent penetration in advanced markets, but, we’ve identified a relatively untapped opportunity to attract large numbers of potential new members who currently feel intimidated by the general fitness industry.

“We’re witnessing this across the board at Snap Fitness, with steady membership growth year on year, which we attribute to bringing a friendly, non-competitive focus to the whole member experience – including our marketing, how we work with our franchisees and staff.

“We always had the narrative of the link between mental and physical health. After the pandemic this became a community-driven narrative, so we’ve benefited from that.”

The cost of living challenges are forcing consumers to trade down and look for affordable gym memberships, he said. Snap Fitness offers membership at $20-$23 per week.

Caldwell said another important attraction to consumers is the ease with which they can terminate their gym membership.