Business Day Live
ENTREPRENEURS have begun to open gyms to compete with long-established service providers such as Virgin Active and Planet Fitness, with the belief that South Africans are eager to become healthier.
Go Health is the newest entrant trying to offer more affordable gym options and plans to open 40 health clubs nationwide between now and 2019. It has already opened a gym in Northview Shopping Centre.
It follows on from Viva Gym, which has opened gyms in Hillfox and Fourways in Johannesburg and Walmer in Port Elizabeth. It will open a flagship gym in Rosebank in September.
Go Health founder Justin Williamson said on Monday that there were large gaps in the market that could be filled in various ways.
“One has to look at how (much) more expensive (the) established gyms have become. Yes, there are specials in place, which can be taken up through medical aid specials and other clubs, but on a straight cost of membership basis, we believe we are a cheaper but high-quality alternative.
“With monthly fees set at R259, Go Health comes in at a fraction of what members currently pay at established, branded clubs. Go Health will offer unprecedented value for money, giving many more South Africans the opportunity to live a healthier, fitter lifestyle,” said Mr Williamson.
“Go Health has partnered with leading global brands in pursuit of a world-class health club experience for their members. These brands include Exerp, Gantner, Technogym, Puma and Happy Me,” he said.
Go Health is partly funded by private investors and partly by Grindrod.
Mr Williamson said the group’s plan was to gain 20% of existing market share.
Viva Gym has also positioned itself as a more affordable gym provider and charges between R219 and R239 a month for membership, depending on the gym in question. One of Viva Gym’s key selling points was that customers did not take out long-term contracts, said founder Chase Emson.