Fitness club operator Virgin Active plans to invest 7.8 billion to expand its presence in Thailand and Singapore.
The company announced Wednesday it would spend 5.2 billion baht to open 20 clubs in the country and create around 1,500 new jobs over the next six years. In Singapore, it will invest up to SG$100 million (2.6 billion baht) and open between eight and ten new clubs, creating 400 jobs.
There are currently three Virgin Active clubs in Thailand and one in Singapore, with two under construction in each country.
Virgin said in a statement it sees Asian markets evolving similarly to the US, UK and Australia, where existing older fitness-only operations have struggled. The Asian market has numerous small, budget fitness chains, but there is enormous potential for premium clubs, the company said.
Virgin’s next club will open in Bangkok’s new Central Festival East Ville mall and feature children’s fitness facilities, including a “learn to swim” programme. Later this year it will open Bangkok’s largest multipurpose fitness facility in the refurbished Siam Discovery Center shopping mall.
“The resounding success of our first four clubs in Thailand and Singapore has exceeded our own high expectations and we feel that the time is now right to accelerate our expansion plans for Southeast Asia,” said Virgin Active founder Matthew Bucknall.