Fernwood Fitness launches Fusion

By Sarah Stowe | 15 Sep 2021 View comments

Fernwood Fitness is launching Fusion, a brand new women’s boutique wellness concept.

The female fitness business plans to open 10 clubs by the end of 2022 but Caitlin Jury, general manager of operations and marketing at Fernwood, told Inside Franchise Business Executive “the sky’s the limit” for long term expansion, starting with the east coast.

Jury said “There’s always a place for a big box gym and we’ve started to introduce wellness and 47 out of 74 clubs do Pilates, and have some form of wellness. But Fusion is a niche market.”

The Fusion concept is focused on a women-only boutique wellness program of classes in yoga, mat Pilates, reformer Pilates, meditation and barre, and fusion which introduces cardio workouts, ideal for members to step into as their fitness levels progress.

The business is designed to appeal to a broad customer base, from the fit and active to mums returning to exercise after childbirth, and senior citizens suffering aches and pains.

“Fusion accepts all women of all fitness levels, from young and fit to the deconditioned customer who would never set foot in the big box gym,” said Jury.

The business model and smaller footprint allow for low-level maintenance and staffing costs: it is owner-operated, with one admin staff member and instructors brought in as necessary. In contrast a Fernwood gym may have 15 key staff, not including the class instructors.

A Fusion club is sized at just 200-300sqm, and will operate with 150-300 members and a typical franchise investment will be about $200,000.

Efficiencies introduced during the pandemic have created a streamlined model for franchisees, and an online membership model allows them get revenue in any future lockdowns.

The model is open to both new franchisees and Fernwood operators and with sites already spaced out up to 15km apart, in many cases a Fusion location can fit into an existing Fernwood territory.

“We’ve already got existing franchisees wanting a Fusion,” said Jury.

The first Fusion franchise will open in October in Richmond, Melbourne.