Pure Gym members flock back as Covid restrictions ease

Around 220,000 people have signed up to a Pure Gym since March as indoor sites began to reopen following lockdown.

The business said it now has around 1.6 million members, which is 94% of the level it was at in December 2019 – before the pandemic started – and an increase from the 81% seen in March this year.

The business said on Thursday that it opened 15 new gyms during the first half of 2021, all but two of them in the UK.

People have been signing up to these new sites at a faster rate than the pre-pandemic average.

All of Pure Gym’s 506 sites are now up and running with “minimal” Covid-19 restrictions in place.

Most of them reopened in April and early May.

This helped the company turn around between the first quarter – when it had been haemorrhaging money – to return to profitability in the second quarter.

Chief executive Humphrey Cobbold said: “The PureGym Group is recovering quickly after a shockingly challenging first quarter when all our gyms were closed and we were losing over half a million pounds per day.

“The pandemic highlighted what critical community assets gyms are and we were delighted to welcome our members back when we reopened.

“Thanks to the hard work of our colleagues all across the UK, Denmark and Switzerland, we have made excellent progress ensuring gyms are safe, enabling us to rebuild the membership base and, with it, our profitability which, in June and then July, reached good levels under the circumstances.”

After a strong showing in its new UK, Danish and Swiss gyms, the group is now planning to open another dozen sites across the UK this year and accelerate expansion in 2022.

It also plans to open its first four sites in Saudi Arabia – its first venture outside Europe – and three gyms will open in the US later this year or early next year.

Mr Cobbold added: “Whilst Europe remains our core market, we see opportunities to provide affordable fitness further afield.”