by Arthur McColl, CEO – Collective Wellness Group
The word disruption is most commonly associated with start-ups and the tech industry, but Collective Wellness Group (CWG) is the health and fitness version of a disruptor. We’re bringing new brands to market in Australia, rounding out our portfolio by keeping ahead of the game, and most importantly, looking to the future.
At CWG, our strategy is to drive our franchise brands via an aggressive local growth plan. CWG is an expert in identifying the most elite and successful health and fitness solutions in international markets, and bringing them to Australia via locally customised strategies. These brands have already achieved massive success overseas – we know their business models work and we know there’s potential for them here in Australia – it’s our job to bring this success to fruition. Our unique approach to acquiring brands has seen our portfolio grow to include some of the US’s most recognisable health and wellness franchises, including Anytime Fitness, Orangetheory Fitness and Massage Envy.
With an ambition to deliver a comprehensive wellness offering to the Australian market, we’re now looking to expand to 1,000 locations in the next five years. Australian consumers are more in tune with their health and wellbeing than ever before, and as a business, we know we need to offer a multi-faceted service that fully encompasses the best and most effective health and fitness solutions on offer.
This is why in the past 12 months, we’ve acquired new brands that extend upon and complement our foundational portfolio, along with exciting new brands in our pipeline. The health and wellness industry has experienced rapid growth in the past ten years, and as the industry continues to expand and evolve, so too must our approaches to meeting the changing needs of Australian consumers. At CWG, our solutions go above and beyond weight loss. We want to challenge ourselves to offer something different – an offering that is completely unique and moves beyond the traditional health and fitness proposition.
We understand and are advocates for the benefits of exercise, but we are also passionate about the necessity of recovery, and novel approaches to managing the mental and physical consequences of a fast-paced life. We are motivated by a holistic approach to health and wellness, and it’s for this reason we’re building a collective community of brands, with a like-minded focus. In combination, the CWG brands are shifting the focus from weight loss to wellbeing. Our goal is to ensure that each and every one of our members knows and understands that we – as a collective – have a wellness solution to meet every need.
We know what it takes to build a successful business – in nine short years, we’ve grown Anytime Fitness to be Australia’s largest gym chain, with 466 clubs already open and almost 500,000 hearts beating as one. Our success is driven by a customer focused approached. We don’t want to be just the biggest – we want to be the best, and we are always seeking ways to improve our members’ experience. Our Support Office is focused on ensuring every club has the right tools and the right information to operate a safe, friendly and successful business.
One of our most recently acquired brands is Massage Envy, a unique membership-based service from the US. Massage Envy promotes the concept of massage and skincare as a regular part of a wellness routine, not a luxury. In the US alone, there are over a thousand Massage Envy doors already open, and we’re excited to pioneer Massage Envy’s introduction into the Australian market, with the opening of two new clinics in Sydney’s CBD and Balmain before the end of this year.
Our brand Orangetheory Fitness was also born in the US, quickly gaining a cult following thanks to its fresh and competitive approach to group training classes. By displaying participants’ heart rate during group training classes, Orangetheory drives a competitiveness amongst members to get into the ‘orange zone’. Orangetheory’s selling proposition is one that is completely unique, and we know that there’s an appetite for it in Australia. There are five Orangetheory Fitness studios currently open across Australia, with our most recent site opening in Waterloo, NSW, earlier this year.
At CWG, we have a comprehensive understanding of Australia’s health and wellness industry. We draw upon our knowledge and hands-on experience across multiple wellness brands to drive our strategic direction, creating a unique and competitive advantage for our franchisees.
What’s next for us is to continue to gain local traction for all of our brands, including Anytime Fitness Australia, Orangetheory Fitness and Massage Envy. While our brands operate independently, the executive team is aligned in its focus and with a booming population, we’re in a better position than ever to introduce new and novel wellbeing solutions to the Australian market.
As our brand portfolio grows, so too does the need to educate and motivate our existing and prospect members, as well as our franchise partners. One of the ways we’re paving the way for the next chapter in CWG’s journey is by signing on a Wellness Director, ex-NRL player Dan Conn. Whilst Dan may be best known for his sporting past, his previous time as the face of F45, or for his impressive social media following, he’s also an extremely passionate and dedicated wellness expert. Dan’s appointment was the natural step forward in our plan – and the opportunity we’ve been waiting for – to drive ongoing expansion and improved brand awareness for the CWG brands. The role of Wellness Director sees Dan creating healthy body and mind wellness programs across each brand and visiting branches across the country, to educate and train franchisees at a community level.
With new brands and new appointments, I’m personally excited about the next 12 months at CWG, and I’m proud to be at the frontline of Australia’s wellness evolution.
By listening to our members and remaining ahead of the curve, CWG is ready to lead the future of wellness in Australia.
Arthur McColl is the CEO of CWG. With 32 years’ experience in the health and fitness industry, he is forging a reputation as a pro-active business leader amongst Australia’s wellness community.
Collective Wellness Group is an investment and management company that counts successful health and wellness franchises Anytime Fitness Australia, Orangetheory Fitness, and Massage Envy in its portfolio of brands.