Founded in 2006 by ex-rugby player and experienced industry operator Jon Wright, award-winning Xercise4Less, one of the UK’s leading low-cost gym chains currently has around 250,000 members and a successful chain of existing gym sites, predominantly located across the North of England but with a growing footprint of sites across the country.
As a result of its organic roll-out, Xercise4Less now operates 35 gyms, employs over 600 people and has an increasing national coverage with sites across the north of England, the Midlands, the South West, Scotland and Wales, and has opened its first gym inside the M25 in August 2015, In Hounslow. Further sites are planned in London and the South East.
Uniquely to Xercise4Less, its gyms are typically located at large out-of-town sites with floor sizes of 30,000 square feet or more that offer advantages to customers over traditional city centre budget gyms such as additional space, more gym equipment and a wider variety of choice and plentiful parking.
The budget gym sector has increased the size of the UK private fitness market by around nine percent since 2011, with one in 12 people owning a gym membership. Compared to the industry average for budget gym chains, Xercise4Less’s members are twice as likely to keep their membership longer than 12 months.
BGF originally backed Xercise4Less in August 2013, with a £5m investment to provide the business with capital needed to support management’s 5-year plan, which included the rollout of new gyms nationwide. A new growth capital injection of £7.6m in 2016, in addition to further funding provided in 2014, takes BGF’s total investment to £19.7m.
Since BGF’s original investment, the Leeds-headquartered business has opened 23 new gyms. Total sales grew to £21.9m in the 12 months to July 2015, up from £12m in its previous financial year.