STRONG Pilates secures Singapore as it looks to Canada, the US

STRONG Pilates secures Singapore as it looks to Canada, the US

Only four months after announcing plans to enter the UK market, fitness brand STRONG Pilates has added another region to its global footprint as it looks to roll out 11 locations across Singapore over the next three years.

The launch will be done in partnership with Yoga Movement founders Alicia and Peter Thew – a duo that already operates eight yoga studios in Singapore and has secured exclusive franchise rights for STRONG Pilates in the city-state.

Founded by former F45 franchisees Michael Ramsey and Mark Armstrong, STRONG Pilates has roughly 32 locations across Australia and New Zealand, where it also plans to have a total of 50 studios in operation by the end of the financial year.

The foray into Singapore is part of the Melbourne-based company’s bullish ambitions to launch into three new global markets this year, with plans for the remaining two – Canada and the US – currently in the works.

Speaking with Business News Australia, Ramsey says Yoga Movement’s existing community of fitness lovers will help STRONG Pilates hit the ground running in three months’ time.  

“They've got a massive community and STRONG Pilates aligns very well with that brand. They’ll certainly be leveraging that community as we roll out from June,” says Ramsey, who won the fitness category for the 2022 Australian Young Entrepreneur Awards.

“There's a huge appetite in Singapore for boutique fitness. The uptake that we've already seen just from announcing it has been pretty crazy.

“We're actually really confident. We think this will probably be our busiest market.”

Founded in 2019, STRONG Pilates is a unique fitness studio that combines Pilates, high-intensity training (HIIT) and rowing, using what is called a ‘Rowformer’ machine. 

Each studio - which has between 15-20 Rowformer beds - combines strong controlled movements and bursts of fast movement to help fitness enthusiasts burn 800-plus calories in a single 45-minute session.

The brand’s entrance into Singapore will sit under Alicia and Peter Thew’s parent company called 'MOVE [REPEAT]', which will own both STRONG Singapore and the couple’s own Yoga Movement studios. Offering more than 500 yoga classes each week for beginners to advanced yogis, Yoga Movement has been in operation for the last 11 years.

The first STRONG studio is set to be rolled out in Singapore's CBD by June, with another two locations slated to open later this year. 

Ramsey notes that while he had the option of selling individual franchises, the synergy he felt when speaking with Peter and Alicia opened the door to an ideal partnership.

“We just felt that Peter and Alicia would do a really good job. They've got a network 60 or 70 staff at the moment so we know that they can effectively roll out this style of training,” Ramsey says.

“They can train their instructors accordingly, which is what we really require to make sure the brand is successful and the product replicated in Singapore is similar to that of Australia.”

Ramsey and Armstrong sold six of their F45 studios to kick-start the brand, as well as gain exclusive rights for the US-developed Rowformer - which initially applied to Australia, New Zealand and Asia but has since expanded into Canada.  

“[Regarding] Canada, we actually onboarded our master franchise at the same time as our Singapore team. That will all be launching later this year,” Ramsey says.

“The US is also well underway. We’ll more than likely be launching in West Hollywood at this stage. We’re looking at sites there at the moment. We’re also looking at California, Florida, Texas, and New York as the key growth markets.

“We'll definitely have a footprint in the US this year. It’s a big year ahead for STRONG.”

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