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Innovating the gym industry

Innovating the gym industry

Retra Fitness plans to expand internationally and launch a new site in every major UK city by 2025, including 25 studios in London

Getting fit with an affordable gym membership, 30-minute circuit workouts and no class times might sound like a fantasy. But those very same values underpin Retra Fitness, the premium but affordable boutique fitness concept.

Founded by Christopher Pan in 2018, Retra Fitness is the embodiment of many years of research and development. Having first worked as a personal trainer in 1988, Chris wanted to create a model that works as a workout, experience and a business. After 25 years in banking and business, the passionate entrepreneur knew he had little time to keep fit – so he made the efficiency of the workout the main priority of Retra Fitness.

Ticking all the boxes

“Efficient space and automation are key,” said Chris. ”We created a conveyor belt fitness concept that’s non-stop, so you don’t need to book into a class. You just turn up, jump in, look at the screen, and a trainer will push you through the workout.”

To assist customers and franchisees, Chris and his team built a database of over 1,000 filmed exercises.

“At the end of the day, a new workout is automatically pushed to the screens, programmed by our expert team, so that franchisees don’t have to worry about the delivery of the workout tomorrow.”

The boutique experience

Every detail of Retra Fitness has been meticulously selected by the in-house design team to give a boutique feel with a high-quality finish to each site.

Chris added: “We are searching out good locations with sites that would thrive, and we are also trying to convert struggling independent studios into our franchises. We are even willing to co-invest alongside them.”

Supporting the network

With a team who have collectively opened over 20 sites and have extensive experience in business and finance, franchisees will be assisted throughout the entire process with elements such as:

• Location analysis
• Lease negotiations
• Studio fit out
• Recruitment and training
• Funding
• Sales and marketing
• On-going support

Proven model

Over the course of three years, Retra Fitness has sold over 1,200 memberships, creating a thriving community, validating the business and proving people’s love of the concept.

“High costs of living, soaring inflation and little time to get fit – Retra Fitness has found a solution,” said Chris. “From its inception, Retra Fitness was designed as a technology-based, turn-key franchise. With low-setup costs and a low staffing model, the business is easy to manage. Our franchisees do not need a background in fitness, but a passion to drive the business forward.”

At a glance



Number of franchised outlets:

currently 1, with 7 in the pipeline

Location of units:

London Paddington

Existing site conversion

from £20,000

Minimum required capital:


Shell and core site

from £180,000

Minimum required capital:



Christopher Pan,


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