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Fitness First in France. Best In France Case Study 15 th December 2003. Group ES1.e Brian Villapudua Gin Hirayama H ong Li Hsin-Yin Hsieh Richard Robinson. Road Map. Corporate Information Starting-up in France Constraints and Adaptation Results Advice. Fitness First.

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Fitness First in France

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Fitness First in France

Best In France Case Study

15th December 2003

Group ES1.e

Brian Villapudua Gin Hirayama Hong Li

Hsin-Yin Hsieh Richard Robinson


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Road Map

  • Corporate Information

  • Starting-up in France

  • Constraints and Adaptation

  • Results

  • Advice


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Fitness First

  • British fitness gym chain

  • Founded in 1992 by Mr. Mike Balfour

    • 2ND largest health club chain in the world

    • 350 clubs and 870,000 members worldwide

      Australia, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Netherlands, Philippines, Spain, Thailand, Italy

  • Moved to London Stock Market in 1999 with 70 gyms

  • Rapid expansion in 2000

  • New Investment Company as of July 2003


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Fitness First

Mission

“We put fitness first so that our customers can feel good about life. At Fitness First everybody is welcome – it’s about providing high quality, value for money, fitness facilities and services that are convenient, flexible, and easy to use.”


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Fitness First in France

  • Opening in France

    • Search for new countries to follow success in UK

    • Recruited a person with fitness background interested in a development in France

    • First office – Paris - May 2001

    • First Gym – September 2001


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Before Start-up

  • Did not expect great differences in managing the company in France…

  • Prepared to implement the UK structure and system

  • Expected demand as in UK

  • Planned an aggressive implementation


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After Start-up

  • System and structure incompatible

  • Financial difficulty

    • Low demand

    • High costs

  • Need to turn around


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Constraints in France

  • French mentality towards fitness

  • Legal matters

    • Labor laws

    • Contracts

    • Trainers’ certificates

  • French employee mentality

    • Wage structure

      • Commission

      • Compensation


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Adaptations to FranceFrench View of Fitness

  • Prefer to take walks, go cycling etc with their family rather than going to the gym for a work out

  • Prefer to buy fitness goods advertised on T.V.

    • Ex: EMS (Electronic Muscle Stimulation)


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Adaptations to FranceFrench View of Fitness

  • Fitness First surprised and gained market through their quality of service and internal organization

    • Customer care – ex: Phone follow-up, Birthdays

    • High performance by trainers

    • Facility – ex: Videos rental, drinks

    • Change of management


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Adaptations to FranceLabor Laws

  • Regulations

    • The 35 hour work week (UK 49H)

    • Highly complicated rules on holidays

      • Ex: If an employees works on a Sunday, he/she must have two consecutive days off

    • Employee’s rights much larger than in UK


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Adaptations to FranceLabor Laws

  • Having a specialist in French labor laws

  • Creation of a new system for shifts

  • Creating cooperation

    • Building good relationships between employees and mangers

    • Paying attention and rewarding the efforts made by employees


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Adaptations to FranceHaving the Right People

  • Firing

  • Contracts

    • CDD – Contract Duree Determine

    • CDI – Contract Duree Indetermine

  • Use the CDD first and then to CDI

  • Recording of any problems caused by employees


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Adaptations to FranceCertificates

  • French regulations required all fitness trainers to have certificates

    • Finding trainers extremely difficult

    • Retention highly important

    • Inspection by regulators

  • Extensive use of ANPE (Agence National Pour Emploi)

    • Introduces potential employees

    • Free service by government


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Adaptations to FranceSalaries

  • Low motivation due to Fixed Salary

    • Low motivation for higher sales and quality

    • Low awareness for customer retention

  • Application of Commissions and Rewards

    • Sales staff salaries based on commission

    • Acknowledgment of outstanding sales performance

    • Bonus paid for retention of customers

    • Allowances


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Adaptations to FranceCooperation

  • Unwilling to work off schedule

    • Value their private time greatly

    • Comparatively inflexible

  • Introduction of bonuses

    • Bonuses for those who made extra effort in the interest of the company

      • Ex: filling in for others, working overtime, changing holidays to meet fluctuations in demand of labor


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Results

  • Met many constraints in the early period that didn’t happen in other countries

  • Slower growth than in other countries

  • Steep learning curve

  • Most problems solved now and Company consolidating ready for further growth


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Advice to Followers

  • Without passion, direction and determination it is impossible to succeed in France

  • Center activity in Paris first if possible

  • Keep a good blend of foreign staff with strong company culture

  • Prepare for legal matters beforehand

  • Learn the French life style

  • Some government organizations useful e.g. ANPE


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We Thank

  • Lety Bianchi, National Recruitment & Training Manager, HQ Fitness First France,185 rue de Grenelle 75007 Paris

  • Daniel Chaffey, National Operations and Sales Manager, HQ Fitness First France,185 rue de Grenelle 75007 Paris


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Our Team

  • Richard Robinson

    • Current Address: Residence Eric Tabarly, Appt. No.2.411, 8, Rue Eric Tabarly, 91300, Massy, France

    • Permanent Address: 45 Brisbane Grove, Hartburn, Stock-On-Tees, Cleveland

  • Brian Villapudua

    • Current Address: Residence Eric Tabarly, Appt. No.2.406, 8, Rue Eric Tabarly, 91300, Massy, France

    • Permanent Address: 2330 West 229th Place, Torrance, CA 90501, USA

  • Hsin-Yin Hsieh

    • Current Address: Residence Eric Tabarly, Appt. No.2.404, 8, Rue Eric Tabarly, 91300, Massy, France

    • Permanent Address: 265, Sanfong Rd., Fongyuan, Taichung County, 420, Taiwan


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Our Team

  • Gin Hirayama

    • Current Address: Residence Eric Tabarly, Appt. No.1.607, 6, Rue Eric Tabarly, 91300, Massy, France

    • Permanent Address: 612-9 Horiuchi, Hayamamachi, Miuragun, Kanagawa Japan

  • Hong Li

    • Current Address: Residence Eric Tabarly, Appt. No.1.507, 6, Rue Eric Tabarly, 91300, Massy, France

    • Permanent Address: Room 1406, Building 15, Baogang 6th Cun, Shanghai, 201900, China


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