GoodLife plans on acquiring Target locations across Canada

GoodLife Fitness is exploring the option of acquiring soon-to-be-closed Target locations to expand its presence across Canada. It is also offering job opportunities to Target employees.

GoodLife currently operates 328 fitness clubs in Canada. The company said it intends on opening more clubs this year. By this spring it will expand to over 350 clubs and by the end of the year it is aiming for 400 clubs.

GoodLife founder and CEO David Patchell-Evans in the statement:

“The former Target locations provide spacious and convenient locations that would be an excellent space for people to achieve their fitness goals,”

GoodLife has experience in converting retail space into gyms. In 1999 the privately owned company bought 12 former Eaton’s locations and turned them into gyms.

What is appealing about the Target stores is that they are in good locations and have plenty of parking space, GoodLife chief operating officer Jane Riddell said in an interview with CBC News.

“We are very innovative when it comes to renovating space and making great looking and great feeling clubs for our members,” said Riddell.

However, for a retail landlord turning the Target locations into fitness clubs might not be that desirable.

Rick Pennycooke, a commercial real estate analyst and president of the Lakeshore Group, said that GoodLife members will go there to work out and then they will either go home or go to work – they are not going there as a destination to shop. Target served as an “anchor” for many shopping centres.

In addition, some of the locations could be too big to become gyms.

“If GoodLife wants to take over a good portion of that space, what does the landlord do with the rest of it?”

GoodLife offering opportunities for Target employees

According to GoodLife, it will be inviting Target employees to apply for jobs and prioritize meeting with them.

COO Riddell said that each gym creates around 30 to 40 full time jobs as well as 30 to 40 part-time jobs – depending on the size of the club.

“We know that there are lots of wonderful people who are working for Target right now, and we’d love to have an opportunity to see if there’s a great fit with us.”