Gym chain unveils ‘massive investment’ plan with new spa retreats | EUROtoday

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Health membership chain David Lloyd Leisure has unveiled plans to open 13 new spa retreats this 12 months as a part of a “massive investment” drive to faucet into the burgeoning premium well being and wellbeing development.

Chief govt Russell Barnes mentioned the group was aiming to finish 2024 with 40 spa retreats in complete because it appears to “premiumise” its 133-strong property.

The transfer comes amid a shift in the direction of prioritising well being and wellbeing because the pandemic, with its members demanding ever-more premium services.

He mentioned: “There’s been a fundamental shift in people looking after their health and wellness and we think it’s here to stay.

“The need to be social and meet your friends for a cup of coffee and do something that makes you feel better, whatever that is – the need to take time out for yourself.”

He mentioned the group shed 14% of its membership on the peak of the pandemic, however that this bounced again inside six months and has been rising ever since.

It now has greater than 750,000 members throughout its golf equipment, with 103 websites within the UK and an additional 30 throughout mainland Europe.

A David Lloyd Club in Chigwell, Essex


The upmarket chain notched up a document 52 million member visits in 2023 – 10 million greater than the earlier 12 months – having invested £120 million into its golf equipment final 12 months.

Mr Barnes mentioned that demand for its providers have proved resilient to the cost-of-living disaster, with the group’s members nonetheless placing well being and wellness first.

“We’re an expensive choice, we know that,” Mr Barnes instructed PA.

But he added: “Our members want us to become even more premium.

“They want the quality to increase, so we’ve got a massive investment programme over the next five years.”

As properly because the spa retreats, the group can also be rolling out one other 15 padel tennis courts throughout its websites, in addition to seven extra devoted pickleball courts to capitalise on rising demand for the racket sports activities throughout the UK.

The group can also be investing £30 million in photo voltaic panels and £20 million in power environment friendly know-how because it appears to satisfy its targets to change into internet zero by 2030.

The measures can even assist minimize its power invoice, which soared after Russia’s warfare with Ukraine.

Mr Barnes mentioned rocketing power payments despatched the group’s annual prices surging from £27 million to £72 million in its final monetary 12 months, although he mentioned gasoline and electrical energy prices have since been easing again.

As a part of power environment friendly funding, the group has put in low power LED lighting on its tennis courts and is overhauling its heating and cooling techniques.

It additionally goals to instal renewable power turbines in every new membership constructed from scratch.

David Lloyd Leisure was purchased by non-public fairness agency TDR Capital in 2013 in a deal thought to have been price about £750 million.

It was reported final June that TDR – which, along with the billionaire Issa brothers, additionally owns grocery store Asda – had employed advisers to take a look at strategic choices for the group, together with a doable sale.

According to studies on the time, TDR was holding out for presents of greater than £2 billion for David Lloyd.

Mr Barnes mentioned TDR had been “fantastic” long-standing homeowners, however added “it’s no surprise that they will want to realise their investment and sell it on”.

“Right now there’s nothing going on around that,” he harassed.