The Gym Group looks to jump into empty space left by Toys R Us

Joanna Bourke
The Gym Group has 128 branches in the UK

The Gym Group is eyeing soon-to-be empty properties left from a raft of recent UK retailer collapses, the budget fitness chain’s boss said on Tuesday, as he revealed stellar sales growth.

John Treharne said there would “undoubtedly” be scope to open branches at some Toys R Us and Maplin sites which close.

He added: “As more people buy online or move away from the High Street, that creates an opportunity for us.”

His firm wants to open up to 20 sites in 2018, adding to its 128 existing gyms.

Revenues soared 24.3% to £91.4 million in 2017, helped by openings in areas such as Walthamstow and Bloomsbury, and acquisitions.

Membership numbers jumped 35.5% to 607,000 and pre-tax profits rose to £9.2 million from £6.9 million. Average memberships cost £17 a month.

Elsewhere in the fitness industry on Tuesday, Cheshire-founded sportswear retailer Realbuzz, which stocks goods by Adidas and Asics, said it plans to invest £5 million to open 10 London stores before the end of 2018.

It has just inked a deal with listed landlord Shaftesbury to open in Seven Dials in April.