Vivafit Master Franchise


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IHRSA Success by Association
Awarded 2008



Press release
Lisbon, July 14 2009

The largest gym chain in Portugal
Vivafit reaches 100 gyms 


With the opening of the Bela Vista gym, in Lisbon, the 30 minutes brand Vivafit reaches the 100 milestone, reinforcing its position as market leader in the Portuguese market. 
In 2009 the brand will open 20 new locations, 18 in Portugal and 2 in Spain. Until 2014 Vivafit wants to reach a network of 150 gyms in Portugal, 100 in Spain and 5 master franchises in Europe, Latin America and Middle East. 
Vivafit is a Portuguese brand responsible for bringing the 30 minutes workout concept to Portugal six years ago. Today, Vivafit is the largest gym chain in the market, with 40.000 members and an annual turnover of 16 million Euros. 

Vivafit opens its 100th location in Portugal. With this new gym, located in Lisbon, the Portuguese brand reinforces its position as leader of the fitness industry in number of locations in Portugal. By the end of the year Vivafit will open a total of 20 new locations, 18 in Portugal and two in Spain where they already have two gyms, in Madrid and Badajoz. Ready to open during the next six months are nine new locations in Albufeira (Algarve), Guimarães, Braga, Aveiro, Póvoa do Varzim, Costa da Caparica, Charneca da Caparica, Quinta do Conde and Dafundo, in Lisbon.

“By the end of the year we want to open a total of 20 new Vivafit gyms in Portugal and Spain.” - says Pedro Ruiz, Vivafit’s CEO. “Reaching the one hundred milestone - without any closings during the last six years – is a clear indicator that our band and our franchising system are secure investments.” – He says.

The 20 new locations represent a 3 million Euro investment and an annual growth rate of 23 per cent regarding last year’s performance. The chain has 5 owned locations – Pedro, from Spain and his American wife Constance Ruiz are the brand owners - and 95 franchises. 

“The Vivafit brand has a `European Chic’ ness that contributes to the energy experience that we provide. And we are very pleased with our unique offering of group fitness classes that are always offered in the express format. Specializing in pilates and adding on Body Vive was the right innovation for our members to train more frequently in our centers.” – says Constance Ruiz, Vivafit’s President.

“The fitness industry is one of the most dynamic with a positive annual growth rate.” – says Pedro Ruiz. “Portugal is still a growing market for this industry. The exercise rates among the Portuguese population are still lower than 5.7% if compared with the average rate of 7.9% in the EU; this means we still have a large market to conquer.” 

Despite the economic changes, Vivafit was the faster growing franchise brand in Portugal in 2008, according to the Portuguese Franchising Institute – it signed for 26 new locations during the past year. 


International expansion

Vivafit started to export its concept in 2008 with the first international gym opening in Madrid, Spain. This year the brand opened already a second location, in Badajoz, and aims to close the year with a 3rd gym in Spain. 

“The international expansion started, quite naturally, with the Spanish market for its proximity but we are already negotiating to sell the concept to new markets in Europe, America - Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Bolivia and Uruguay – and Middle East, ideal expansion areas due to the specific concept of the 30 minute women only gyms.” – says Pedro Ruiz. 

The Vivafit gyms are prepared to accommodate 500 members per gym in a 160 to 200 square meters area. Opening a Vivafit gym demands an investment of around 120 thousand Euros. The main success factor for the brand is its capability to reach break-even in a period of 3 to 6 months. In a 24 month period the initial investment is recovered. 

Vivafit offers an express 30 minutes workout but also group classes of Pilates and Body Vive. 


Vivafit is a Portuguese brand leader in fitness for women only market. It offers a 30 minutes complete work out concept adaptable to the needs and limitations of every women. Vivafit actively promotes exercise and healthy lifestyles among women. 

Additional information: 
Catarina Cruz / Vivafit Portugal
Tlm.: 91 820 34 30 / 21 485 12 25

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