Debenhams sweats its space

Debenhams is launching a trial of in-store fitness centres with gym specialist Sweat! as part of a strategy to make its department stores ‘a destination for social shopping’.

The retailer said the partnership, set to launch in three stores from early 2018, will give customers more reasons to visit Debenhams stores more often and will attract a younger female base.

Sweat! offers an ‘aspirational gym environment at a slight price premium to budget gyms’. Facilities include dedicated studios for spinning and aerobics, fitness programmes, plus a full range of free weights and Technogym equipment.

Debenhams products will also be on offer to suit health and fitness lifestyles. Other cross-marketing opportunities planned include enrolling each Sweat! member to the Debenhams Beauty Club.

Debenhams ceo Sergio Bucher said: “We believe that by teaming with Sweat! we will optimise the space that is available in some of our stores, whilst offering an attractive and credible leisure experience to customers.

“The partnership is a step closer to establishing Debenhams as a destination for leisure experiences – and gives customers more reasons to visit us more often.”

Sweat! founder Frank Reed said: “Partnering with Debenhams provides Sweat! with access to attractive locations and the opportunity to engage with the retailer’s established loyal customer base.”

Sweat! attracts 600-800 daily visits to each of its five gyms, with a 55% female customer base visiting 2-3 times per week.

Reed previously founded LivingWell, Virgin Active and Virgin Pulse.

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