European Chain PureGym Launches First Club in United States

PureGym Group, a European fitness and gym operator, is opening its first gym in the United States under a new brand, Pure Fitness, the company announced on Jan. 6.

The first location, which is a 15,000-square-foot facility in Tysons Corner, Virginia, opened on Jan. 6. A 22,000-square-foot club will open Jan. 13 in Elkridge, Maryland, and a 27,000-square-foot location will open Jan. 27 in Springfield, Virginia, with additional sites planned across the United States, possibly organically as well as through franchising, the company said.

“We are excited to be entering the U.S. fitness market where we believe our model — no contract, high quality and affordable fitness — is not well represented,” Humphrey Cobbold, CEO of PureGym Group, said in a media release. “No other operator provides the same unique offer of a boutique gym experience at a budget gym price. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people than ever are focused on their health and are looking for greater flexibility and value, which presents a huge opportunity for us to welcome both keen gym-goers and beginners to Pure Fitness.”

Founded in 2009 in the United Kingdom, PureGym Group offers low-priced gym memberships with no contractual commitment. It has 500 clubs in the United Kingdom. It also has 40 sites in Switzerland, 180 sites in Denmark and one location in Saudi Arabia with more planned through franchising. 

In January 2020, the company acquired Fitness World, which had clubs in Denmark and owned Basefit in Switzerland.

The group is majority owned by Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. In December 2021, PureGym raised £300m equity investment from KKR to fund international expansion, which is an increasingly important part of the company’s strategy, Cobbold said.

The new brand will “disrupt the U.S. market” in several ways, according to the announcement. Pure Fitness offers memberships that start at $9.99 per month without any contractual commitment. Members can freeze, leave and re-join whenever they want in a matter of minutes through the Pure Fitness app. Through its app, members can choose the best time to visit the gym, provide contactless entry with a QR scanner and access a library of more than 400 on-demand workouts. Each Pure Fitness gym will have more than 150 pieces of cardio and strength equipment, a Turf Training Freestyle area and more than 80 digital and instructor-led classes per week.

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