Andrew Alfano’s Vision for Retro Fitness
In July 2019, Retro Fitness appointed a new CEO: Andrew Alfano, who boasts 25 years of experience in the retail, hospitality and restaurant industries, including at Starbucks and The Learning Experience.
Alfano was drawn to Retro Fitness because of the opportunity to expand upon the brand’s already solid foundation. “The bones of this brand are really strong,” he said. “It’s been around 15 years. I really enjoyed everything I heard about it and just wanted to be a part of it.”
To date, Retro Fitness boasts around 150 clubs in 15 states. According to Alfano, the brand has a number of differentiators in the fitness space — first and foremost its franchisees, each of whom serve as a point of connection wherever a location is planted.
“What I love about Retro Fitness is we are 100 percent franchised, or said differently, we are individually owned and operated,” said Alfano. “We’re really looking to build a community inside the four walls of our clubs. Our franchisees and the vested interest they have with their individual members is something that will be a serious point of differentiation as we scale across the country.”
Looking ahead, scaling across the U.S. is a key focus for Retro Fitness. To start, the brand is looking to expand in Southeast Florida, Texas and the greater Chicago area.
This trajectory coincides with the recent move of the Retro Fitness corporate office from New Jersey to Southeast Florida — a move Alfano explained will provide increased opportunities for the brand’s investors and franchisees.
“We are a national company — we have just under 150 locations open or in development in 15 states — and we wanted to make sure we were accessible and available year round, and this was a market that made a lot of sense,” said Alfano. “Especially from a growth market perspective, I think Southeast Florida is an under-penetrated market and a big opportunity for us. We’ve actually already signed our first three franchisees here for Southeast Florida, one of which is a private equity group.”
According to Alfano, this is an exciting time for the brand across the board. “We are in the midst of a transformation,” he said. “We have already brought in a brand-new executive leadership team; we’ve moved the support center from New Jersey to Southeast Florida; we have implemented great new tools, resources and support for our franchisees to be successful. If you want to be associated with fitness, you’re going to want to be associated with Retro Fitness.”
BONUS: Leadership tips from Andrew Alfano
- “You want to be curious. You want to be a great listener. Whether it be for your franchisees, for your people or for your consumer, you want to be ever present.”
- “One of things I feel very strongly about with my team is you have to be out in the field.”
- “Being available, accessible and ever present for your people is critically important.”