Posted by: Sales Makers | July 27, 2017

The first Club chain to go on the London Stock Exchange – revealed!

Somehow the post I wrote yesterday has evaporated into the ethernet… So, we’ll try it again – in different words. If it miraculously reappears I’ll apologise now for my seeming redundancy.

On the fifth of November, 1982 Debbie Moore the founder and CEO of Pineapple, a chain of three clubs in London and one in New York City took the company public on the London Stock Exchange. Not only was this the first Club to go onto the Exchange, she was the first woman in the UK to take a company public. This momentous occasion was highly publicised (mainly for the woman angle), but it also was a foreboding of the future for Clubs that entered the stock market. As I stated earlier – they discovered that the stock market is not exactly fitness friendly.

Anyway; you might be interested in seeing how the story ended – since, obviously there never was fifty Pineapple Clubs built in the early nineties.

The Club Industry Convention was in November – we kept in contact with Stephen and Becky over the ensuing months and they flew into Dallas in March for the IRSA Convention to sign the deal. We saw each other on the first day of the Convention and made plans for dinner two nights later (didn’t want to seem too excited.) I booked a table for dinner at a very expensive, rotating restaurant in a high-rise building in downtown Dallas. As we met them in the hotel lobby – they were very quiet and something didn’t quite feel right. A very pleasant dinner with copious amounts of libation resulted in an after dinner Cognac with some Cubans (Note: Cuban cigars are legal in the UK – where Stephen lived and smoking was still legal in restaurants then.)

“So, what’s the story – when do we begin,” I asked.

“Do you want to tell him,” asked Becky of Stephen.

It seems that Debbie Moore had consulted with her Astrologer that morning and the Astrologer advised her to focus on the clothing line and drop the health club idea. The deal was dead!

The Fitness Industry was just barely getting started in the UK, however; they had a very large show called RecMan, that represented not only Fitness, but the whole ‘Healthy’ and ‘UnHealthy’ leisure industry in the UK. The reason I knew Stuart Dyson was that he owned a software provider company and he had purchased the rights for Club Runner in the UK. The owner and I were flying over to the UK in two weeks after IRSA and launching this product at this show. Becky was on the board of a fledging Association that was being started in the UK and invited me to dinner with her and Stephen (at a restaurant he owned, called the Blue Button) in London. At the end of the show, I saw her – they arranged a car to collect me and we had another very pleasant dinner at his restaurant (where I mastered the art of Sabrage [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabrage]).

Cognac, Port, Cubans and the news they’d quit Pineapple and wanted us to help them launch a new Club concept.

Sales Makers International was launched…


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