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Snap Fitness Gym Franchise News
Familiar with the physical and mental benefits an inclusive gym community can have, Zabir decided to stick to his roots and invest in a Snap Fitness franchise.
Snap Fitness Gym Franchise News
Franchise Information
  • BFA Membership StatusAssociate
  • UK Years Established22 years
  • Current UK Coverage50%
  • Franchisee Support Staff10
  • Total Startup Cost£200,000 approx
  • Venue-based business locationYes
  • Business to consumer servicesYes
  • Franchisee employs staffYes
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UK’s largest franchisee for Boots Opticians opens a new Snap Fitness Franchise

25th April 2024

UK’s largest franchisee for Boots Opticians opens a new Snap Fitness Franchise

At Snap Fitness, our ‘One Team’ culture is pivotal to our pursuit of excellence as we propel ourselves to the forefront of the fitness industry. As a testament to our inclusive and welcoming culture, we’re heavily invested in creating this atmosphere for both members and our franchisees. The launch of our flagship club, in Fareham, is the embodiment of this commitment.

Zabir Ali, franchisee and owner of our Fareham club, is no stranger to all things franchise. As the UK’s largest franchisee for Boots Opticians, Zabir wanted an opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of people in his own community. Familiar with the physical and mental benefits an inclusive gym community can have, Zabir decided to stick to his roots and invest in a Snap Fitness franchise.

Franchise Success:

Birmingham-born Zabir graduated from Aston University with an optometry degree in 2007.“After graduating, I moved to Bournemouth as I wanted a change of scenery but also to start my training as an optician.”

Zabir worked his way up through the ranks from optician to practice manager before investing in his first Boots franchise in June 2012. “My first store was in New Milton, Hampshire. Once I’d got to grips with how to operate the franchise using the systems and processes I’d been provided with, I soon experienced a good degree of success, so I decided to expand and become a multi-unit franchisee.

“I invested in my next store in 2015 in Wimborne. It was the most successful franchisee-operated opening for a Boots Opticians ever. By 2016 I was asked to take over Boots Optician’s worst-performing store and used what I learnt to turn it around and build a successful business. From there, I continued to grow. Now I have seven franchises - with three of them being flagship stores, including the Romsey and Lymington locations.

Looking towards the fitness industry

Moving into the fitness industry was a passion project for Zabir. “When I was a teenager, I started going to the gym and it had a real positive effect on my health.” Recognising the benefits, Zabir became an avid gym-goer, despite his busy lifestyle."

What particularly stood out for Zabir was the environment of community gyms, where members could feel comfortable and welcome. “I’d always wanted to open my own gym,” says Zabir. “Initially, I looked into launching an independent gym, but I wasn’t sure if I would have the time to manage my Boots franchises and run an independent gym to the standards I expect of myself.

“It wasn’t quite a light bulb moment, but I decided to do what I do best and look into fitness franchising. That was when I found Snap Fitness, and I loved everything the brand stood for. The team was really welcoming, and there was a great energy about the brand. Their values aligned with mine too, so it was a natural fit.

All roads lead to Fareham

For Zabir, one of the main reasons he joined the Snap Fitness network was the opportunity to be part of a brand refresh. “I really liked the idea of working on something new. Enhancing what Snap Fitness offers its members but retaining the emphasis on being an inclusive, welcoming environment perfectly fit in with what I wanted to do – offer a premium service but have that community feel.”

Understanding the importance of location, Zabir was happy to be patient as Snap Fitness looked for the perfect site to launch its new initiative. “From my experience in franchising, I know you can’t compromise on location. I wanted something local to me so I could go and visit my team as regularly as possible. When we found the Fareham site, it ticked every box and we put cogs in motion for the build phase.

“The training and support Snap Fitness has given me has been excellent. My experience is in a different industry, so I needed to get up to speed and the team has given me the tools to do so. Everyone in the franchising team knows their roles and you can reach out easily – there’s no such thing as a stupid question. The marketing team is first class too, and I’m confident the Fareham club will be a great success. I’m very excited to be working closely with Snap Fitness - and be at the forefront of this refreshed gym concept.”

Looking to the future

Snap Fitness Fareham is due to open in May 2024, and Zabir has been busy recruiting a great team to manage the location. “I’ve already got a general and assistant manager lined up for the club. I’ll hand over most of the control for recruiting new staff to them, but they’ll still report back to me so I can keep a close eye on the ongoings of the club.”

Snap Fitness Franchise | Opening a Gym

The Fareham site is the first step for Zabir as he looks to move to becoming a multi-unit franchisee with Snap Fitness. With a licence signed to open three more clubs, Zabir is excited to continue the journey with the brand. “I’m looking forward to being a bigger part of the network. The strength of the franchisee community at Snap Fitness is well-known. Everyone I’ve met has been really welcoming, and I’m excited to attend the great events Snap Fitness puts on for their network.”

Zabir’s advice for franchisees

My advice to anyone wanting to become a Snap Fitness franchisee, or just a franchisee in general, is to make sure you do your research. You need to especially focus on looking for a brand that matches your values as you’ll be working closely with them – you need to be on the same page.

“I’m all about offering a premium service – it’s something I just won’t compromise on. It is why I’m really looking forward to working with Snap Fitness – we’re both moving in the same direction with closely aligned values and goals. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

If you’re ready to join one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, why not get in touch now and take the first step on your new path to changing lives?


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