So you’ve joined a gym and vowed to get fit and healthy during 2018? By March, over 50% of people with that New Year’s resolution will have stopped going but not cancelled their gym membership in the hope they ‘might’ go back again. We bet if you were paying £6k annually for the privilege, you’d be there a minimum 3-5 times a week.
The luxury end of gyms and health clubs is booming and nowhere more than London. 3 St. James’s Square is the latest private members health club to open and we talked to the man behind it – Mark Chambers, who has worked in the leisure and hospitality industry since 1992.
What did you want to be growing up?
I really wanted to be a chef. I began my own catering business at the age of 15 as I knew then I had a real passion for food. I still do, and I firmly believe in the saying ‘you are what you eat’.
Where did the idea for your brand come from?
In general terms the fitness industry over the years has attempted to service their members, yet they let themselves down by being focused on how many members they have rather than the actual members themselves. They join 2,3,4 thousand members and have an average daily intake of 500-1200 visits per day.
This is ok for the minority of the population who do not crave the service element. Members generally get ignored, are let down by lack of instruction, and feel dejected and ultimately leave.
We wanted to offer the opposite of all of the above – an all-encompassing Wellness Club, with a vision of giving the member 10 years back on their life. We will cap our membership at 1000 which will result in 50-75 visits per day, ensuring all of our members receive sublime service during their visit.
What has been the greatest challenge to your brand/work?
The greatest challenge to date has been getting the conceptual process on to paper and for the team to engage, with the same passion and commitment as the business founders.
Seeing the team get behind the business, since we opened the doors for the soft launch in November 2017, has given really felt like a huge achievement. Our job now is to pay attention to even the most minute detail – even when the team think I’m crazy. This business is all about the member and I’m continually walking around looking at ways we can improve the member experience.
Who was or is your greatest influence?
The truth is my wife and my young family are the biggest influence in my life. Everything I do is for them.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is less neck-tie, more smart casual but always in a jacket though!
Tell us something no one knows about you?
My Grandfather was a very successful entrepreneur. In fact, during the Second World War he was the main importer and exporter of army vehicles.
7 words to describe yourself
Direct, confident, driven, creative, analytical, perfectionist and appreciative.