Pure Gym - Female membership opportunity


About the brand

PureGym is the UK’s largest value gym operator, with more than 200 gyms and over 1 million members.

In November 2017, US PE fund, Leonard Green & Partners, took a majority stake in the business. Management wished to explore the opportunity for growth through increasing female membership.


The Challenge/Task

Pragma was commissioned to validate the hypothesis that PureGym had an opportunity to increase female membership across its value gym chain. The objective was to identify strategies to improve the gym experience for women and tactics to better attract and retain female members.


We delivered a series of recommendations for adaptations to the PureGym proposition. Our findings were underpinned by a rigorous programme of market and consumer insight, which included the following workstreams:

One-to-one depth interviews with management

Site visits and assessment – to PureGym and competitors (13 in total) to evaluate respective propositions and conduct face-to-face vox pop interviews with members

Detailed analysis of PureGym customer and operational databases to unpick the drivers of member attraction, retention, and visit behaviour

Quantitative research to understand consumer behaviours in the sector, selection criteria, brand associations and concept testing – this included a range of surveys capturing the opinions of over 10,000 respondents, including a  nationally representative omnibus survey, a customer database survey and a targeted survey of current, potential and lapsed value gym users.

The Result

Pragma developed 18 specific recommendations to boost female membership, split into ‘quick wins’ and longer term initiatives. PureGym are moving forward to implementation of selected initiatives across a subset of their estate to track their impact on female membership.