Thriving Well


Evolution Wellness is expanding its business as a leader of fitness industry in Asia. Its strategy lies in Brand Portfolio that sees 3 top brands on its port like Fitness First, Celebrity Fitness and GoFit paving way into the Thai market to target the fitness lifestyle deeply in each segment. The fitness industry is now being expanded to wellness for sustainable growth.

06 Jun 2019

Mark Elliott Buchanan, managing director of Evolution Wellness (Thailand) Co., LTd said that the merge of two fitness giants of Southeast Asia like Fitness First and Celebrity Fitness has resulted in Evolution Wellness Asia in 2017. Evolution Wellness Asia has since become the largest fitness operator in Asia, with over 166 clubs in 6 countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Thailand. There are more than 375,000 members and over 6,000 staff members. In total, members come in to use the service over 25 million times a year.

The merge also comes with a business expansion to cover the market in all segments. In June 2018, Evolution Wellness Asia also bought Fivelements, a super luxury retreat resort in Bali which has won awards like World Luxury Hotel and Retreat Spa and world’s leading architecture award. This business acquisition expands on the fitness into wellness to prepare for the market trend that is heading into that direction.

Going further, in October 2018, Evolution Wellness Asia also bought Chi Fitness, a big fitness operator in Malaysia with 13 branches. This makes up part of the goal to become the No.1 in Asian market. In July 2019, Fivelements was also expanded into the first luxurious yoga studio in Hong Kong. Additionally, a new fitness club under the name GoFit was also unveiled in Malaysia back in August.

In Thailand, under the name Evolution Wellness (Thailand), the business operation will follow that of the head company by bringing more brands from the portfolio to provide services in the growing Thai market. This will also offer diversity to cater for the complex needs of consumers.

“Our business expansion in Thailand will focus on the 3 main brands — Fitness First, Celebrity Fitness and GoFit. Three more branches of Fitness First will be added by the end of this year, amounting to a total of 34 branches. Celebrity Fitness will also open 2 branches at the same time. In 2020, our latest brand GoFit will be launched for the first time in Thailand to fulfil the brand portfolio to respond better to the needs of customers in each group according to their lifestyle.”

The position of the 3 brands in Thailand focuses on health enthusiasts, but with different characteristics. Fitness First targets those who are 25-40 years old. Celebrity Fitness targets those who are 21-35 years old who prefer joining fitness classes. The 2 brands offer full-facility service, with cardio and weight-training equipment, class studios and professional trainers. For GoFit, it relies more on technology such as fitness evaluation, class participation, and those more digitally-oriented.

Fitness First remains the flagship for Evolution Wellness Thailand. In 2019, three new clubs are opened - Fitness First Club Icon at ICONSIAM, Fitness First Platinum Pearl Bangkok Aree and Fitness First Platinum T-One Thong Lor. The investment that goes into opening these branches goes up to 490 million baht.

To date, there are over 80,000 members of Fitness First in Thailand. In a year, members visit the clubs over 7.67 million times, which is 12% higher compared to last year. This is a result of opening up more branches, more classes, more members and more activities that draw people to exercise more regularly.

The current membership rate for 12 consecutive months is 2,395 baht per month for premium members. The highest is 2,785 baht per month for club-class members which can access all Fitness First clubs in Thailand and across Asia.

“Fitness First has been growing well, with an increase of 7% in revenue, 11% profit made from personal trainer service, as well as 1.5% increase in amount of members. We aim for 2020 to have an increase of 11% in revenue, 13% in personal trainer service, as well as setting the service frequency goal to 8.6 million times and the amount of members going up to 89,000 people,” Mark added.

Celebrity Fitness targets those aged 21-35 years old who like fun and socialising in diverse dance classes. The signature of the brand is its DNA Series Celebrity Fitness will have facilities such as studios for cycling and other classes, plus cardio, free weight and muscle building equipment. There will also be changing room with lockers. Members will receive attentive care from internationally qualified staff members of Evolution Wellness Thailand.

Celebrity Fitness will open 2 branches simultaneously in November 2019 in 2 strategic locations at Samyan Mitrtown and Singha Estate, with an investment of 120 million baht. Over 50 million baht in revenue and 3,000 members are expected in the first year. The membership rate starts at 1,750 baht per month.

Once Celebrity Fitness is open, there will be membership type that can access both brands or Dual Access Membership for members’ utmost benefits. The price is +100 baht of their current Fitness First membership rate.

The new brand like GoFit will target fast-paced population, where technology and application will be incorporated for better convenience. It will provide consumers with better access to fitness.

“What’s interesting is that it’s not just about business expansion but also giving the ultimate fitness experience to all members with our variety of brands. Special benefits are given for members to use a diversity of brands, which will bring about fun, enjoyment and refreshing experience that will also give us a strong point and advantage in business,” Mark concluded.