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L’Orange Bleue commits 2 million to open five of its own gyms in Madrid

L’Orange Bleue resumes its expansion plan in Spain, where it plans to double its network of centers this year. The French chain of gyms, which operates four facilities in Barcelona, ​​Valencia, Castellón and Málaga, will launch five of its own clubs in Madrid between October and December, as you have learned 2playbook. Three of them have already been signed, while the other two are very advanced projects that are only pending signature. The company, which invests an average of 300,000 euros per gym, will finance this expansion through a bank loan of 2 million euros. L’Orange Bleue managed to be profitable in 2022 after billing 156 million euros in France and Spain. Looking ahead to this year, it expects to grow to 180 million euros.

For now, only the center it manages in Barcelona is its own, while the other three operate under license. “Madrid is a powerful market, and entering with five clubs at once we position ourselves as a brand,” he explains to 2playbook José Nercellas, CEO of L’Orange Bleue. In this way, the chain will start operating nine gyms in the country. Your expansion will not end here, as the company sees “potential” to reach 200 gyms in the next five years in Spain, a market in which Basic-Fit, which also operates in the low-cost segment and has more than 100 stores, and Synergym, which has more than eighty facilities, are growing strongly. They are joined by VivaGym and Altafit with gyms low cost.

Looking to 2024, the company’s forecast is to add a dozen more centers with a brand license and a few more of its own. The chain landed in Spain in 2017 and opened its latest center in Malaga last year. “We will study different possibilities of locations, part of the centers will be new, but if the opportunity arises to purchase both independent centers and small chains, we will also analyze it,” says Nercellas. The chain is also looking to grow in France, where it has 380 sports centers. “We believe that we have the potential to double the current number of gyms there,” says the manager, who predicts a “concentration of brands in the market, since the client is increasingly looking for more brands and trust.”

“As we gain more market share, it will cost less and less to sell the brand,” he adds. This year it plans to open 40 clubs in France, market where 95% of the centers operate with a brand license. More than half of these, 55%, belong to investors who manage more than one center in the chain.

The chain, which is looking for premises between 550 square meters and 750 square meters, bases its proposal on directed activities, customer support and spaces for strength training. Nercellas assures that the classes are one of the strong points of the chain, that it has developed its own training methodology that it has registered with the Yako brand and that allows it to train its own trainers, who give around 50 face-to-face classes per week.

L’Orange Bleue, in fact, not only aspires to grow through new gyms, but also The company seeks to diversify its business by getting a better return on its know how in the provision of services. On the one hand, it is studying the formula to expand Yako beyond its clubs, so that it can be sold to other gyms both in France and abroad.

The company has its own academy for trainers using this methodology and in France it already runs five educational centers. The annual courses offered by the company provide the diploma approved by the French State, which is essential to be able to practice as a fitness trainer in the French country. L’Orange Bleue will try to export this training center model to Spain in the coming years.

The company expects to end the year with 400,000 members in the nearly 400 gyms it has in the two markets where it is located, which represents an average of around 1,000 subscribers per center. In Spain, where last year it billed between one and two million euros, the average is somewhat lower, around 850 registered per club, so that it provides service to just over 3,400 members in the country. “We are at record numbers within the company in terms of subscribers and we hope to break this record by the end of the year,” adds Nercellas.

The company revamped its proposal last year to “raise customer perception.” “We offered a more familiar image, with better finishes and a more refined style, so that clients perceive us as their second home. We seek proximity, accompaniment and follow-up”, the manager explains. The company has also focused on digitization, especially promoting social networks, to renew the approach of users to its service.

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