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Barry’s Bootcamp founder Joey Gonzalez created the concept which is now being scaled by North Castle

charts and average membership is over 450 per club, which is huge for Curves’ small format model. So, women are getting the vital benefits of strength training – slowing down muscle ageing and maintaining metabolic rate – in a format that’s both effective and social. Really, Curves was way ahead of its time: a group of local women working out together, doing something that’s achievable, where there’s a lot of chatting and community. It covers off, in a meaningful way, most of the buzzwords in terms of today’s consumer needs. However, in all honesty, our efforts to turn Curves around in the North American and European markets were unsuccessful. There are still very successful clubs in both markets, and incredible owners doing a great job – they will continue to be successful on a smaller scale. But the business became so heavily focused on Japan and Asia that it didn’t make sense for us to own it much longer. We weren’t the most value-adding investor and we were able to work out a deal to sell it to our tremendous partners in Japan, who do an awesome job of running that business. So, they are now the owners of the global franchise. What are your best known fitness investments? The most well-known fitness investment we currently have is boutique fitness brand Barry’s Bootcamp. When we invested in Barry’s, it had 17 clubs – in New York City and southern California, plus franchises in San Francisco, Boston, Miami, Nashville, London (UK) and Norway. It had grown in a fairly unusual way, and CEO Joey Gonzalez and the other founders had finally decided it was time to bring everything together. Barry’s was something special – an incredible workout and an aspirational brand – and we saw an absolute tonne of opportunity to expand. We always have fad/risk conversations internally, and boy did we have them here, but Barry’s has been around since 1998, and its methods – running and weightlifting –

aren’t fads. It puts together two time-tested ways to exercise together in a way that’s unique and fun. I would also argue that, if you compare it to the quality of a personal training session – as far as really getting results out of that hour – Barry’s is tremendous value. I personally would rather spend US$30 on a class than US$90 on a personal training session. So, I think there’s quite a bit of room to run. We’ve just opened in Manchester in the UK and will be opening in Seattle, US, soon. We’re going to open in Calgary in Canada and will open in Houston, Texas, alongside the existing stores in Dallas. We’ve already opened in Toronto, Stockholm, Sydney, Milan, Dubai and we’ve just announced a Paris opening for May. Meanwhile, back in the US, we think Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco can probably each support around 10 locations. We’re very rapidly growing our global footprint. What else is in your fitness portfolio? We’ve also invested in a much smaller, pilates-style boutique business called SLT, which uses Lagree Fitness equipment [see HCM June 18, p66]. ©Cybertrek 2019 healthclubmanagement.co.uk May 2019

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Profile for Leisure Media

Health Club Management May 2019  

Health Club Management is the magazine and online community for decision-makers in the global health club, fitness and gym industry.

Health Club Management May 2019  

Health Club Management is the magazine and online community for decision-makers in the global health club, fitness and gym industry.