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New World Gym Owners Seek Franchisee Input

Dover, NH — Just two and a half years after being purchased by low-priced, no-frills franchisor Planet Fitness, World Gym changed hands again late last year when the Joyce J. Cammilleri family bought the franchise for undisclosed terms from Planet Fitness, Dover, NH. The deal includes the World Gym brand, as well as the relationship with the franchisees. Mike Uretz, former president and CEO of World Gym who had sold the franchise to Planet Fitness in 2006, will serve as an advisor to World Gym's new operators.

“We are super excited to be associated with World Gym,” says Guy Cammilleri, managing director. “We want to become the No. 1 iconic brand in the world for the fitness industry.”

Upon announcing the deal, Cammilleri said in a statement that the company would return to Southern California.

“My brothers were amateur bodybuilders, and we grew up in Southern California,” he says.

Cammilleri says they are considering establishing a corporate gym in the Pasadena, CA, area. In the meantime, Cammilleri and Karin Michael, director of franchisee relations, are reaching out to World Gym franchisees.

“While all the strategies to help lead World Gym to achieve our vision are not developed yet, we view that as a collaborative process,” Cammilleri says. “We're on the phones every day with franchisees to get their opinions on where World Gym should go, and we're in the process of setting up an advisory board of franchisees.”

Cammilleri says the company hopes to have rebranding strategies in place within the next five to seven months.

The Cammilleri family has a background as private investors and formerly co-owned and operated JOICO International, a global salon hair care brand, which was sold to Shiseido Cosmetics in 2001. The family has known Uretz for several years, values his industry experience and asked him to join the team as an advisor, Cammilleri says.

“Given Mike's long history in the industry, we really value his wisdom and knowledge,” Cammilleri says. “He helped advise us with the escrow, and now we're on the phone and on e-mail with him every day to figure out how to move forward and achieve our vision.”

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