World Gym Taiwan, which owns and operates 24 fitness clubs in Taiwan, plans to open its first club this year in mainland China and 100 clubs in China within the next five years.
Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen are among the 16 Chinese cities that World Gym Taiwan is targeting. The company is owned and operated by two Americans, John Caraccio, founder and president, and Michael Sanciprian, CEO.
“We have obtained a dominant position in our market, making it relatively easy to expand rapidly in greater China,” Caraccio said in a statement. “At the same time, China’s primary cities are ready for fitness, yet no operator has yet to establish a leading position. We intend to fill that position.”
World Gym Taiwan, founded in 2004, added nine clubs in Taiwan last year. Sanciprian says the company plans to increase the number of Taiwanese clubs to 47 within two years.
Last month, the company opened its second World Gym Elite club in Taipei. The first club is located in the Taipei 101 building, the second-tallest building in the world. The Elite clubs include a swimming pool and spa amenities and charge 30 percent more than a regular World Gym membership in Taipei.
“The Taipei 101 club put us on the map in Asia, since so many Asian tourists pass through there every day, especially from mainland China,” Sanciprian said in a statement. “It’s become a natural extension that we go into China, given the language and cultural similarities with Taiwan.”