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Contours sheds Australian franchisees
EXCLUSIVE: With Contours Express International’s Australian master franchise agreement having recently expired, uncertainty surrounds the current status of Contours fitness in Australia.
In this climate, the owners of many former Contours clubs have removed their businesses from the women-only franchise, and are now trading independently.
Contours Express International’s 10 year master franchise agreement with its Australian master franchisee ended in July and was not renewed.
Having established 160 franchises in its first five years of operations prior to 2010, the Contours Australia website now appears to list only nine clubs in the chain - six in Victoria and three in NSW.
However, the website of US-based parent company and master franchisor Contours Express International currently lists Contours as having 138 franchises in Australia.
In 2010, Contours announced ambitious plans for a 50% growth in franchises as well as a 100% growth in memberships and turnover by 2015.
Yet, as of the end of master franchise agreement the number of clubs trading under the Contours banner in Australia had dwindled to around 50.
The massive growth of fitness franchising in Australia, in particular the 24/7 gyms, was described as being “spectacular” in a recent report Gyms and Fitness Centres in Australia from business information analysts IBISWorld (report R9111, published in January 2014).
Writing in Gyms and Fitness Centres in Australia, IBISWorld researcher David Whytcross highlights that "industry growth has been largely stimulated by the advent of budget 24-hour gym chains, which have grown exponentially over the past five years as consumers have been attracted to their affordability and accessibility.”
Across Australia, 24/7 gyms are opening every month with major players Anytime Fitness opening more than 300 gyms between 2008 and now, Jetts Fitness franchising more than 200 gyms in Australia and New Zealand, and Snap Fitness approaching 200 clubs.
However, industry commentators have speculated that the market may soon reach saturation with IBISWorld predicting flat growth in the immediate future.
Click here to visit the Contours Australia website.
16th July 2014 - 24/7 GYMS TO DRIVE FITNESS INDUSTRY REVENUES DOWN
11th February 2014 - IBISWORLD PREDICTS FLAT GROWTH IN FITNESS INDUSTRY THROUGH 2014
5th September 2013 - FITNESS CLUB MEMBERSHIPS GROW BY MORE THAN 10% IN ONE YEAR
21st August 2013 - FITNESS CLUB MEMBERS PREFER EMAIL COMMUNICATION
31st July 2013 - FITNESS SURVEY REPORTS THAT 71% OF FITNESS CLUB MEMBERS ARE WOMEN
11th November 2011 - PLUMMER WARNS OF THE DANGERS OF LOW-COST FITNESS MEMBERSHIPS
5th November 2010 - 70% OF AUSTRALIAN WOMEN UNHAPPY WITH THEIR BODY SHAPE
22nd September 2010 - CONTOURS TO CELEBRATE FIVE SUCCESSFUL YEARS WITH ONGOING EXPANSION PLANS
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