Lift Brands backs Aussie fitness franchise Fitstop with 30% stake

By Sarah Stowe | 02 Jul 2021 View comments

Home-grown functional fitness brand Fitstop is getting backing from US business Lift Brands.

The multi-brand business is taking a 30 per cent stake in the fledgling gym chain with the goal of fast-tracking its expansion. The aim is to double the Fitstop footprint in the next financial year.

Peter Hull began Fitstop four years ago in a garage and has built it up to nearly 50 clubs around Australia.

He said the strategic partnership has been months in the making.

“We couldn’t be happier to collaborate with a network of like-minded leaders in the industry. This is a huge milestone for both brands and really puts us on the fitness map,” he said.

“It’s so rewarding to see an international organisation recognise us as the next big player in the fitness industry, not just within Australia but around the world. The next phase of growth will involve looking to introduce Fitstop to the New Zealand market, followed by the UK and US which will be of a larger scale.”

Lift Brands is the parent company of Snap Fitness and 9Round and has more than 2500 clubs across 26 countries and 1.5 million members.

Lift Brands CEO of Asia Pacific Chris Caldwell pointed to three elements that secured the commitment and investment of the global business.

“Fitstop presented as a very well managed business both operationally and financially. The performance of their individual locations is outstanding, but most of all, we are culturally aligned,” Chris explained.

“Our values as a business, and even on a personal level, were the perfect match to Pete’s and the Fitstop team. The integration and connection they have with their individual franchisees is quite special and we cannot wait to be a key partner in their growth.”

Even Covid hasn’t been a dampener on growth with pre-Covid membership at 3,500 members and in June 2021 this has risen to 11,000 members.Since launching Fitstop has achieved an annual growth rate of 70 per cent and brought in total revenue of $40 million across the network .