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DiR diversifies to return to profitability and exceed 50 million revenues in 2023

DiR gains momentum thanks to the diversification of its offer. The Catalan chain of gyms It plans to return to profitability in 2023 and equal or even exceed the turnover obtained in 2019, which was 50 million euros. This, after a 2022 that closed still below the turnover of the year prior to the pandemic, as you have learned 2playbook.

This recovery goes hand in hand with the return of subscribers to the sports centers of its network. At the end of 2022, the company provided service to some 98,000 members in the 20 clubs it owns that it manages under the DiR brand, which represents 6.5% more than the 92,000 that it brought together in December 2019. The figure rises above 140,000 registered if the 13 BDiR are added, the brand with which it manages smaller centers.

Refilling the centers has been one of the chain’s priorities in recent years to leave behind the impact of Covid-19, and to do so, it facilitated the return of members to their clubs through offers. “We are receiving more clients, who come to train more times and are younger,” admits Gerard Figueras, DiR’s deputy general manager. The company actively demands that the Administration facilitate access to sports with tax aid.

Meanwhile, it is exploring new avenues to expand its brand, both at the center and product level. The company currently manages 89 centers and It plans to grow both with its own clubs and, above all, with franchises. A two-speed expansion that it faces by opening the door to different business and management models. “One of our objectives is to consolidate even more in Barcelona, ​​which is our reference place. Here we believe that there is still room for more DiR centers”, admits Figueras. Of the 20 own clubs with this brand, 19 are located in the Catalan capital, while another is located in Sant Cugat del Vallès (Barcelona). In parallel, it has made its growth more flexible with franchises.

On the other handDiR wants to start looking beyond private management and that its commitment to the concession segment is not punctual. At the end of last year, the manager was awarded the management of a macro complex in Premià de Dalt (Barcelona), which will operate under the name DiR Premià de Dalt Center Esportiu Municipal, and which is expected to be operational by the end of the first half of 2024. This center will serve as a test in the field of center management public sports. If it works well, the company will study entering new competitions to manage municipal sports centers in Barcelona and the rest of Catalonia.

The group, however, is also studying other formulas to expand its brand. One of them is the conversion of sports centers that it integrates into its franchise network, a strategy with which it has already integrated a dozen independent clubs since 2020. The last one, the Pilmos Gym in Cornellà de Llobregat, now BDiR Montesa. Added to this strategy is another: that of entering a center through a contract for the provision of services. This is the case of DiR Fontanals Sport & Wellness, a golf club in La Cerdanya, in northern Catalonia, where the chain manages its gym. In this sense, it is in talks with other tennis and golf socio-sports clubs to enter under this same formula, taking advantage of the wide brand recognition and experience of DiR, a chain founded in 1989.

Another path of growth, which has crossed the Catalan borders, is its YogaOne line of studies. This brand specialized in yoga, which currently manages 54 establishments, has allowed DiR to expand its presence throughout the country: in addition to Catalonia, it already has centers in Madrid, Navarra, Andalusia, Aragon, and the Valencian Community. This same year he will also debut in Castilla y León and will launch his second studio in Andalusia. The forecast of the chain, which in 2024 will celebrate 45 years of history, is to reach one hundred franchised centers in the coming months.

Double commitment to digitization

The growth of the chain will not only affect its network of centers, but also its product. The company has just launched a new service based on digital personal training for subscribers and potential customers who are not registered. It can be hired by paying a small fee. “Our team of trainers will carry out a tailor-made plan for each user based on their objectives, challenges and availability to train, and will monitor them weekly”, announces Figueras. With this, the chain intends to get even more out of the talent of its staff by bringing it closer to users.

In parallel, the company continues to promote the broadcast of training classes through DiR at home, its digital fitness platform. This has led him to transform the rooms of some of his centers into sets from which he records and broadcasts classes that can be viewed live and on demand from other gyms that are or are not part of the chain, as well as from home. In its clubs, the chain has installed video walls, or large high-definition screens from where online classes can be followed during off-peak hours. Hand in hand with this system, DiR has gone from offering 8,000 monthly classes to 25,000 sessions each month.

This digital bet is also applied in the Ò Wellness center that the chain has in the Torre Agbar, in the technological district of Barcelona. Even if it’s not your core business, both the corporate segment and the hotels are, precisely, two other open fronts that the company is studying and where it could expand its network in the future.

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