Health Club Management February 2017

Page 18

H C M PEO PL E

We’re always on the lookout for the next great health and wellness brand that’s been proven in another market

JUSTIN MCDONELL

CHAIR, COLLECTIVE WELLNESS GROUP

F

ranchises are a staple of the fitness industry, providing a recognisable and reliable brand for customers, as well as support and guidance for owners. Done right, they can dominate a market. Justin McDonell knows this better than anyone. His holding company, Collective Wellness Group, is the master franchisor of Anytime Fitness, the largest fitness chain in Australia with 446 clubs open and plans to get to 500. Recently, embracing the current trends of wellness and boutique fitness, McDonell added two new franchise chains, Massage Envy and Orangetheory Fitness. “I think it’s the entrepreneurial spirit of ‘I’ll give it a go’,” says McDonell of the popularity of franchises. “The advantage of the franchise is that it provides a framework to work within. You can build a business without having to go it alone.” Gym junkie McDonell started gaining experience in the industry as soon as he finished school, working in his family’s gym and eventually quitting university to run it with his mother and sister Jacinta. He moved on

business partner Richard Pell started the Collective Wellness Group in order to add new franchise chains to the offering. The group signed as the master franchisor of Massage Envy in Australia early in 2016, and by the end of the year had also signed the rights to Orangetheory. McDonell plans to roll out 150 franchises of each chain. “We’re always on the lookout for the next great health and wellness brand that’s been proven in another market, and that we feel can dominate in the Australian market,” McDonell explains. “We’re excited about what these two brands can do in Australia.”

McDonell: A focus on wellness

to become a franchisee of several fitness clubs before he and Jacinta signed the deal to be master franchisor of Anytime Fitness in Australia. After going from strength to strength with Anytime Fitness, McDonell and

There are plans for 150 Orangetheory Fitness franchises in Australia

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New directions In bringing these brands to Australia, McDonell is targeting a different demographic from Anytime Fitness. He says: “Anytime Fitness predominantly attracts male members and is spread across the country in almost all socioeconomic areas. In contrast, Massage Envy and Orangetheory are mainly focused in middle to higher income areas and attract a mainly female clientele.” McDonell adds these new brands therefore provide a good opportunity for existing Anytime franchisees to add an extra, complementary, smaller footprint offering to their portfolio. Never content to stop growing, McDonell has big plans for the future. “Once we launch and grow the two newest brands, we aim to launch another two brands into the Australian market in the coming two to four years,” he says. There are no details at this stage, but McDonell says new additions to the portfolio could be in areas such as physiotherapy, PT or beauty. “Collective Wellness Group is committed to the franchise sector and in particular health and wellness products,” he says. “It’s a great growth area.”


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