Sports Direct goes beyond retail to open 40 SportsDirectFitness.com gyms by 2016

The company originally revealed its plan to enter the fitness club industry back in November 2014 after starting to acquire sites from LA Fitness last summer.

As of 15 April, SportsDirectFitness.com has officially launched with 27 gyms open in locations including Birmingham, Colchester, Guildford, Hove, Manchester and Rugby.

Three more are set to open in the coming months, while the end of year target is to have 40 operational sites. That said, the big picture is to have 200 gyms across the country, from inner city locations to out of town – by comparison there are 418 Sports Direct stores across the country.

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“Our gym memberships offer fantastic value for money in the same way that our customers have come to expect from our retail outlets and our website,” a spokesman for Sports Direct said.

“This will be affordable fitness on an unprecedented scale. It will revolutionise the market by making private gym membership a realistic lifestyle choice for millions of people.”

Prices for access to the fitness clubs will range from £5 a month for dry gyms up to £25 for venues with swimming pools. The company compared its prices to the competition and noted they’re a fraction of the cost of rivals.

Low cost gym options are an increasingly popular route to market. Xercise4less, which secured a £31m investment in January to build on its 24 gyms and its £128m value, provides a membership from £9.99 a month. Larger firms, meanwhile, are likely to begin prices at around the £40 to £50 mark.

Clubs will include qualified staff, personal training sessions, refreshments and groups classes, which are set to cost an additional fee, covering mind & body, strength and burn. Elsewhere, others will include saunas and stream rooms.

The 27 clubs are currently open in: Sale, Colchester, Croydon, Guildford, Hove, Rugby, Glasgow Argyle, Epsom, Kings Heath, Manchester, Northfield, Salisbury, Newark, Kings Lynn, Lincoln City, Lincoln South West, Bury St Edmunds, Cheltenham, Fareham, Formby, Huntingdon, Kettering, Birmingham, Liverpool, Milngavie, Aintree, Keighley.

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