Achmea Health Centers to become part of Fitland

Zilveren Kruis Achmea to modify its health policy for customers

Zilveren Kruis Achmea is set to modify its health policy for its customers. Based on its experiences in recent years with the Achmea Health Centers, the health insurance company is currently developing a new policy designed to maintain the health and vitality of its customers and other people in the Netherlands. Under the new policy, the company no longer needs to own and operate its own fitness centres. This will result in the sale of a total of 19 Health Centers to Netherlands-based fitness chain Fitland. An additional 12 Health Centers, along with the head office, will be closed.

Achmea has owned and operated a chain of fitness centres in the Netherlands since 2000. However, the Dutch fitness market has radically changed in recent years: the market is saturated and has been facing strong price competition due to the emergence of budget chains. In addition, as part of a growing trend, many Dutch people aspire to improve their health in a variety of ways besides working out in a gym. Coupled with the limited number of locations (achieving national coverage with its own chain of fitness centres has proved to be impossible) and continued financial losses, this prompted Zilveren Kruis Achmea to reconsider its strategy of owning and operating its own fitness centres.

New health policy
In launching its new health policy, Zilveren Kruis Achmea is catering to customers who are committed to improving their vitality in any which way through a wide spectrum of lifestyle modifiers, including nutrition, sports, exercise, relaxation, weight loss and lifestyle, both indoors and outdoors. The company has made quality, accessibility and affordability key elements of the new policy and has already conducted initial negotiations with various partners, suppliers and customers. Feedback from these stakeholders on the company’s new strategy has been positive across the board.

The organisational change will see the sale of the Achmea Health Centers by shareholder Achmea, with a total of 19 locations set to be sold to Fitland. The parties signed a letter of intent to confirm the transaction today. Following the sale, which marks the natural next step in the partnership Achmea Health Centers and Fitland entered into last year, Fitland will become the largest high-end fitness chain in the Netherlands. The Fitland Group will be adopting Zilveren Kruis Achmea’s new strategy following completion of the sale. No jobs will be affected at any of the Health Centers concerned, while gym patrons will be able to continue using the facilities as before.

The head office and twelve health centres which have operated at a loss for many years will be closed following the sale, as keeping them in operation was no longer viable. A total of 126 full-time positions will be eliminated as a result, which will affect roughly 450 employees, the majority of whom work on a part-time basis. Gym patrons will be offered an alternative solution in the vicinity of their former gym.

Both the proposed sale and the closure of the facilities are subject to the recommendation of the Representative Advisory Board.