Dono da Smart Fit, Edgard Corona, stated that if he loses customers to low-cost clubs, he would prefer to do so to one of his low-cost clubs rather than one of his rivals. In 2009 he introduced low-cost Smart Fit in the sector alongside the high-end business, BioRitmo, which he had started in Brazil in 1995.
Corona’s concept is to provide the highest quality clubs in both the elite and low-cost categories on the market to ensure that his facilities are people’s top and secondary options. They can then choose between BioRitmo and Smart Fit. They committed every error, according to Edgard Corona. The club was in the red for multiple years before we increased the size and parking options.
Everything changed when the following BioRitmo in Paulista opened its doors in 1997. When Edgard Corona visited London, the architecture and dining experiences there inspired him. He decided he didn’t want his establishments to feel like fitness clubs; instead, he envisioned them like restaurants. Their Paulista club revolutionized the industry; it was spotless, had a fantastic color scheme, and emphasized lighting.
However, even then, costs made it difficult for them to expand. Brazilians had to adjust their prices every month due to high interest and inflation rates, and a two-and-a-half times higher import tax on items than US gym owners meant they had to pay for gym equipment. They didn’t have much equipment because treadmills cost them $25,000. That is more than a car.
It’s still one of their biggest concerns because the cost of workout equipment is so high. After visiting his first IHRSA conference in 2001, Corona realized his sales process required more optimization and hired one of the knowledgeable presenters to improve it. Corona kept on exploring this, though. For instance, to overcome the difficulty of an internal placement in a shopping center, he built theater-style lighting at the Higenopolis facility in So Paolo, which debuted in 2005.