Sheffield firm's global gym plan is working out

A Sheffield company is set to open scores of gyms around the world - but that could just be a warm up.

Wednesday, 10th January 2018, 10:11 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th January 2018, 10:15 am
Trib3 gym, Ecclesall Road, Sheffield. Pictured is David Cross. Pic by Chris Etchells.

TRIB3 director David Cross says the plan is open 500 in three years and float on the stock market for £200m.

A breathtaking ambition, but the firm’s rapid growth and incredible pipeline of deals point the way to a heavyweight success that could make Sheffield the headquarters of a global brand.

Trib3 gym, Ecclesall Road, Sheffield. Pictured is Ben Mahmood.

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When, on a tour of the first venue, on Ecclesall Road, David Cross says: “Everything is designed to be Instagrammable,” you know this is no ordinary gym.

At TRIB3, pronounced simply ‘tribe’, every element of the experience has been obsessively picked apart, analysed and updated, right down to the showerheads.

The bespoke attachments are just one element of a concept which brings a northern, industrial twist to the ‘bootcamp’ gyms that came over from America.

Red windows, concrete and wood on the walls, a gloomy interior, loud dance music, treadmills, mats, weights - and luxury towels.

Sarah Mcbean.

But it’s not all image.

David says: “We will beast you and you will love it.”

TRIB3 prides itself on punishing workouts, which old hands would recognise as circuit training, but now with extra shouting, camaraderie, protein shakes and a board ranking people on number of visits, with categories including ‘warrior’, ‘immortal’ and ‘elite’.

“Would you take a picture of your showerhead at Virgin?” David asks. “We want our fame to spread by word of mouth and social media. The first TRIB3 made a profit in the first month and the success of the one in Leeds absolutely blew our minds.”

David Cross and a slogan.

The company started in January 2016, with co-founders and old friends Dan Summerson, Kevin Yates, David Cross and a silent partner. Each brought different expertise, in design, finance and gyms.

After setting up in Sheffield, they were approached by an operator in Spain with funding for 60 clubs. They’ve also just done a deal for 18 in Finland.

There’s one in Moscow headed by Alexei Drobot, former CEO of World Class Clubs, and 19 on the way, two due in Paris and advanced talks over 150 in China - with Miami, Australia and South East Asia all looking possible.

Now, they have a team in Europe that finds sites and works with local contractors to fit out new gyms.

Kevin Yates, David Cross and Dan Summerson of TRIB3

David added: “We want to be the biggest boutique operator in Europe and a global brand. It’s not just pipe dreams, we’re in advanced talks with operators around the world and Spain, Finland and Russia are happening.

“In three years we could have more than 500 clubs and we are going to float in three to five years. We have got the model right, we can grow fast and franchise fast.”

Sami Hurme, who has 20 years’ experience in the industry, purchased the rights to TRIB3 in Finland, with the aim of launching 18 sites.

Sami said: “I am very excited to become the first boutique fitness club provider in Finland. The fitness industry is getting lazy and that is why I want to bring something new to people who want to be fit in Finland - very fit - with a smile on their face.”

Kevin Yates, chief executive of TRIB3 International, said: “We are so proud to have Sami as part of our team.

“TRIB3 has proved to be a phenomenal success since our launch at the beginning of 2016 and it is a success that simply seems to keep on growing.”

Trib3 gym, Ecclesall Road, Sheffield. Pictured is Ben Mahmood.

The TRIB3 concept is based around intensive group workouts.

It has been hailed one of Britain’s best workouts by Women’s Health magazine and one of the world’s hardest by the Sunday Times.

Sarah Mcbean.
David Cross and a slogan.
Kevin Yates, David Cross and Dan Summerson of TRIB3