Body Fit Training sets sights on Scandinavia with master franchise agreement

Body Fit Training sets sights on Scandinavia with master franchise agreement

BFT's Scandinavian master franchisor Tage Flugeim (centre) with two of the group's founder and CEO Cameron Falloon (left) and director Richard Burnet (right).

After opening up 42 new studios globally in 2024 to date, Melbourne-headquartered fitness chain Body Fit Training (BFT) has announced its next global expansion after signing a master franchise agreement in Scandinavia, where it plans to open 20 locations over the next five years.

The boutique fitness brand, which offers 50-minute group strength training classes led by highly accredited coaches, has signed the agreement with Tage Flugeim, who is credited with taking Los Angeles brand Barry’s Bootcamp to Scandinavia 15 years ago.fou

Flugheim will focus on the BFT roll-out starting in August with plans to open studios in Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen within 12 months, serving as flagship locations for each country to attract sub-franchisees and build new partnerships.

The goal is to have 40 BFT studios across the region within a decade. The initial focus is on Norway, Sweden and Denmark, but the agreement relates to the whole of Scandinavia including Finland and Iceland

"BFT checked all the boxes for me due to the quality of the workouts, the unique approach to strength training sessions, the thoughtful programming, the emphasis on people, and the inviting, inclusive atmosphere of the studios," says Flugheim.

BFT was founded in 2017 by high-performance trainer Cameron Falloon, and built with business partners Richard Burnet and Hamish McLachlan. Within four years the franchise's intellectual property outside of Australia, New Zealand and Singapore was sold to Xponential Fitness Inc (NYSE: XPOF) for $60 million.

But this wasn't an exit per se, as they effectively became the master BFT franchisor for all territories outside of North America.

BFT's model of progressive cardio and strength-based classes avoids the repetitive movements that are common in gyms, and has proven attractive to fitness enthusiasts around the world. The group opened its 300th studio in March 2024, and year-on-year studio revenue growth is currently growing at around 9.96 per cent annually.

Within the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region the group currently has 66,000 members and a net member growth rate of 18 per cent.

"When I delved deeper into BFT’s top-of-class franchising model and had the pleasure of meeting Rich Burnet and Cam Falloon, and hearing Cameron's story about how BFT was founded, I was convinced. I knew I had to bring BFT to Scandinavia," says Flugheim.

"Scandinavians have a strong health and fitness culture. Over 20 per cent of the population are members of a fitness studio. Our economy is, generally speaking, very good and we are willing to pay for quality products.

"After 15 years of developing Barry’s in the Scandinavian market, I know that Scandinavians appreciate foreign fitness brands. We look up to the US, UK, and Australia, and introducing BFT’s culture, story, and high-quality workouts to our region will be a perfect fit for Scandinavia."

Burnet, who is also a director and CEO of BFT International, says the company will be in great hands with Flugheim and his team.

"He is a seasoned operator and has had great success bringing Barry’s into Scandinavia," he says.

"The boutique fitness space is still a relatively niche offering right across the region which creates a huge opportunity for BFT to establish itself there. Scandinavians are passionate and committed to their fitness, so we know they'll embrace our unique model and we are excited to support Tage and his team in bringing the BFT product to as many cities as possible."

The master franchise agreement builds upon the brand’s growing presence across Europe, with its first studio opening in Barcelona in March of 2024. 

It also signals the growing demand for BFT outside its well-established APAC markets, specifically in Europe. The first BFT studios in Indonesia are set to open in July, and the first Scotland studio in Glasgow later this month, continuing the global expansion of the brand.

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