Evolution Wellness adds CHi Fitness to its portfolio
Malaysia-based Evolution Wellness Holdings has announced the addition of Malaysia’s popular no-contract fitness chain CHi Fitness to its portfolio. The addition of 14 new clubs means Evolution Wellness now owns and operates 170 of the wholly-owned clubs across Asia, making it the largest fitness club operator in the region.
Evolution Wellness was established in 2017 with the merger of Celebrity Fitness and Fitness First Asia making it one of the largest fitness club networks in Asia. It continued to expand its portfolio In July 2018, with the addition of integrated wellness resort brand Fivelements Pte. Ltd.
Marking the start of Evolution Wellness’s diversification of its portfolio from fitness into wellness, the acquisition of Fivelements brought the award-winning eco-wellness retreat Fivelements Bali and the newly opened holistic sports wellness retreat Fivelements Hong Kong into its operations.
The recent addition of CHi Fitness to the Evolution Wellness portfolio complements the existing network of Celebrity Fitness and Fitness First clubs in Malaysia.
CHi Fitness launched in 2008 as an offshoot from the global hotel fitness chain, Clark Hatch Fitness Centres. Over the last 10 years it has grown to include 14 clubs throughout Malaysia, predominantly in shopping malls.
Two years ago, CHi X was launched to cater to a more premium membership, offering online class bookings, fingerprint access to clubs and signature functional training classes such as ‘The Grid’ and ‘Box & Burn’.
Commenting on the acquisition, Rich Hutson, Chief Executive of CHi Fitness, stated “it presents us with opportunities to further influence and elevate the standards of the fitness industry in the country.
"With a wider network of 49 clubs covering the major cities in Peninsular Malaysia - including Penang, Johor Bahru, and the Klang Valley, it puts us in a strong position to offer our members even more choice, more value, more locations to train in, and more fitness experiences to choose from.
For now, the three fitness club brands continue to operate separately and there is no change to membership packages or access levels at any of the clubs. However this may change over time.
Looking forward, Hutson added "for the most part, it is business as usual with all three brands. Evolution Wellness has every intention of retaining the CHi Fitness brand and it will continue to exist alongside Celebrity Fitness and Fitness First in the Malaysian fitness landscape. However, we will undertake some work to define the CHi Fitness brand’s unique selling points further to ensure it occupies a clear, defendable territory, complementing the two other fitness brands in the portfolio.
“The notion of fitness and living a healthy lifestyle is surging to the forefront of the public mindset in Asia, and indeed around the world,” continues Hutson.
“Our industry is naturally under the spotlight from an investment perspective, perhaps more than ever. There is a logic in pulling various strands together to improve the attractiveness of a given proposition.”
With Malaysia having a low penetration rate of 1.04%, there are many opportunities for existing and new brands to scale up within the country and around the region.
Looking forward to the increased opportunities and greater access to learning and development for the current business and staff, Hutson concluded "it’s no secret that the Asian fitness industry is fiercely competitive, only because there is so much untapped potential and room for growth.
“Evolution Wellness has already taken the Celebrity Fitness brand to the Philippines and they are also committed to entering the Thai market. So, new markets for CHi Fitness would be a strategic option in the future, though for now, our immediate focus is here in Malaysia.”
28th July 2018 - Evolution Wellness acquires Fivelements health resorts
10th August 2017 - Fitness First Asia partners with Wexer to deliver new digital membership
23rd February 2017 - Asian fitness club merger sees creation of Evolution Wellness
29th September 2016 - Quadrant expands wellness empire with acquisition of Fitness First Australia
8th April 2016 - Owners look at sale of Fitness First’s global operations
31st August 2015 - Fitness First opens exclusive Gravity club in Singapore
28th June 2013 - Celebrity Fitness to open 50 new clubs
10th July 2012 - New openings mark ‘aggressive expansion’ by Celebrity Fitness
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