Frame was founded by Pip Black and Joan Murphy in 2009. Unable to find a gym or fitness studio that gave them the flexibility, variety and fun they wanted, they set out to create it themselves. Frame’s central ethos is that getting fit shouldn’t be a chore – it should be fun, sociable and valued for the positive impact it has on customers’ busy lives.
Variety is central to the Frame proposition, born from the founders’ belief that this helps keep customers’ fitness routines fun, engaging and better for the body. As a result, Frame offers 31 different class types across dance, barre, yoga, Pilates and fitness in their sites, each housing 3 – 5 studios.
The differentiated and accessible positioning of the brand has helped Frame to develop a particularly strong sense of community among its customers, known as ‘Framers’. This is reinforced by the founders’ ambition for Frame to be a lifestyle, not performance brand, where ‘Framers’ can access a one-stop-shop for all things health and fitness. Alongside classes, Frame sites have a curated retail offering, healthy cafes and wi-fi enabled ‘chill-out’ areas.
There are currently four Frame sites in London (Shoreditch, King’s Cross, Victoria and Queen’s Park) with two further sites opening shortly in Hammersmith and Soho. Frame is forecast to deliver sales in excess of £5m in 2017 and works with 149 trainers across its studios, employing 26 in its London headquarters. In 2017 the brand launched Frame Academy, an Active IQ certified fitness training programme designed to raise the standard and quality of fitness training in the UK.
Piper’s investment in Frame will help the business to expand further across London and nationwide. It is the second investment from its sixth fund, Piper VI, which recently closed at £125m.
Pip Black said: “We have developed a close partnership with Piper and are already seeing the benefits of working with their wider team, drawing on their skills and experience.” Joan Murphy added: “We are hugely excited about growing our unique and special brand, allowing more customers to enjoy getting and staying fit and healthy.”
Libby Gibson, partner at Piper, said: “The UK fitness industry is worth £4.3bn and experiencing significant growth. Boutique studios represent 23 per cent but the segment remains highly disaggregated. We’re greatly impressed by Pip and Joan’s passion and knowledge for their brand – and how they’ve built a devoted following of ‘Framers’. We look forward to joining them on this exciting next stage of their journey.”
Financial due diligence was provided by Ian Robinson from Sentio Insight and Russ Cahill from Tax Advisory Partnership.