Club Pilates Signs Master Franchise Agreement in the United Kingdom
12 Jul 2022 - Club+Pilates, the world’s largest Pilates brand, announced today it has signed a Master Franchise Agreement in the United Kingdom (UK), including England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The agreement gives the Master Franchisee the opportunity to license at least 50 Club Pilates studios over the next 10 years. The new studios will bring Club Pilates’ international reach to 12 countries outside of North America, following Master Franchise Agreements in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Dominican Republic, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Austria, Germany, and Spain. This deal marks parent company Xponential+Fitness%2C+Inc.%26rsquo%3Bs+(NYSE: XPOF) first Master Franchise Agreement in the UK. Xponential Fitness established its presence in the region in the first quarter of 2022 with a direct franchise territory sale for its portfolio brand Body Fit Training. The first Club Pilates studio in the UK is expected to open in 2023.
Behind the Master Franchise Agreement in the United Kingdom is Richard Uku, founder of Deblankson Fitness Group, and a Multi-Unit Franchisee of Club Pilates and sister brand, AKT, in the United States. He currently has six studios in New Jersey and New York. Brought up and spending his formative years in the United Kingdom, Uku attended college and started his professional career working in Corporate Finance in the City of London. He moved to the U.S. 20 years ago when Wall Street came calling. Since he became involved with Club Pilates in 2016, he has always had a desire to take the brand back to the UK.
“Richard Uku is a seasoned Club Pilates owner and we look forward to teaming up with him to debut Club Pilates in the United Kingdom,” said John Kersh, Chief International Development Officer of Xponential Fitness. “UK expansion is an important goal for Xponential Fitness, and we know that Richard will hone the skills he’s developed as an owner in the U.S. to bring the life-changing benefits of Pilates to millions of Britons.”
“In the UK today, equipment-based Pilates that uses reformers and other spring-loaded apparatus is still a niche offering within the health and fitness market and there are no brands with a national presence,” said Uku. “This creates a great opportunity for Club Pilates to establish itself and grow in the UK market in a similar way as it has done in the US market. The Deblankson Fitness Group team is very excited to have the responsibility of bringing the Club Pilates brand to the UK.”
In 2018, Club Pilates became an international brand upon its debut in Canada and has rapidly expanded its global footprint ever since, with locations in four continents, most recently expanding to Singapore. Along with the new agreement in the UK, the brand also expects to open its first studio in Germany in late 2022. Club Pilates is backed by Xponential Fitness, the largest global franchisor of boutique fitness brands including Pure Barre, CycleBar, StretchLab, Row House, YogaSix, AKT, Rumble, BFT, and STRIDE.