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Pure Gym: The Fitness Market Between Polarization and Customization

Pure Gym weightlifting equipment
Credit: magdal3na /

Marketing Success

Pure Gym’s first low cost gym outlets opened in four big UK cities. Their concept just came at the right time to a country affected by the financial crisis: 24/7 access, modern machines, skeleton staff and, instead of a membership, flexible monthly fees. Seven years later, Pure Gym is the UK’s biggest fitness chain with 160+ studios, having taken over its biggest competitor LA Fitness in 2015. Let’s have a closer look at how Pure Gym came to success.

Within only a few years, Pure Gym caused a stir in the UK’s already dynamic fitness industry. Established by serial entrepreneur Peter Roberts and, since 2013, majority-owned by American investors CCMP, the chain grew from four to 160 studios within only 7 years, while also taking over competitor LA fitness in 2015.

Back to Basics

Pure Gym’s company name is it’s main motto. Most of the studios are accessible 24/7. While equipped with all modern machines, there are no overhead-heavy features such as pools, spa facilities or cafés. Staffing costs are also kept low, with Pure Gym hiring freelance trainers to lead the approx. 50 gym classes on offer every week. The saved costs are passed on to the customers by offering a reasonably priced, flexible monthly rate, without membership fees or longer-term contracts.

Changing the Game of an Industry

Going against the industry mainstream by scrapping membership fees or contracts was an unorthodox decision which allows Pure Gym customers the freedom to design their personal fitness regime. Thus Pure Gym catered for the so-far underdeveloped low cost gym segment and further propelled a polarization of the market, with stripped-down fitness on demand on the one side, and boutique luxury studios on the other, delivering premium services and personal attention for a premium fee.

Their gains mean further losses for the medium-priced chain studios with high over-heads offering “everything for everyone”.

Going social: Marketing for the Fitness and Spa Market

Segmentation and customization pay off when marketing to the fitness crowd. Social media and the rising use of apps open up a wide variety of potential activities for marketers. In our next article, we are going to give a few ideas for successful marketing in the fitness industry.


Picture of Peter Ramsenthaler

Peter Ramsenthaler

When working for a global brand back in the 90s, Peter realized that spreadsheet overload and inefficient processes were holding back the marketing team. That’s when he decided to build a martech platform that gives businesses back control and allows marketers to bring great ideas to life.