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Les Mills
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

LIW 2015: Time for innovation is now, says Algar

Health and fitness operators must redefine the boundaries of their market and embrace innovation if they are to survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive sector, says Ray Algar.

Delivering his keynote address at LIW 2015 in Birmingham, the fitness industry analyst issued a call to arms for entrepreneurs to redefine the sector.

Citing examples such as the start of the mid-market with the launch of Fitness First in 1993 and the arrival of the budget sector in the UK in the mid-noughties (a concept started in Germany in the late 90s), Algar said the time is ripe for a great leap forward. Otherwise, he warned, the industry will continue to ‘squabble’ over the same 13 per cent of the adult population that are gym members.

“True entrepreneurs are unrestricted in their mission and redefine the boundaries they operate in to open up the market,” said Algar, suggesting innovation is the key to creating more opportunities.

Building on a previous lecture outlining how traditional mid-range clubs are having their business ‘salami-sliced’ away by specialised competitors, he noted how mid-market gyms are suffering the most from the increasingly competitive fitness market space.

Algar reiterated his view that the pathways of the gym industry are forking between self-service and supported propositions, best exemplified by the polarisation minimally-staffed budget gyms and premium boutique clubs. Mid-market gyms are finding themselves caught in the middle of this split, with a proposition which fits neither category.

Another issue, Algar noted, is that the concept of consumer loyalty to a single gym brand is disappearing, with boutique gyms able to charge sizeable pay-as-you-go prices for premium one-off experiences. Third party platforms like ClassPass have made it easier than ever for consumers to experience new clubs and are in step with the predilections of the millennial market. He said one way traditional mid-market clubs are seeking to counter this is to cut prices, holding up the example of Sports Direct charging £19.99 for former LA fitness clubs that previously charged £40+.

“A decade ago people were in love with legacy clubs, now it feels with the ever-cheaper memberships that we’re almost given them away,” said Algar.

He concluded that to succeed in a challenging market, brands must embrace innovation and strive to raise the bar. There is no longer room for mediocrity and middling, he said. Brands have to really stand for something, presenting a clear identity and belief in their purpose if they want to thrive.

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Features
Retention
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In the name of work, Australian actor Chris Hemsworth has undergone impressive physical transformations for film roles such as Thor in The Avengers and Marvel films. Inspired by the public’s interest in his workouts, he’s now created a health and fitness app called Centr that utilises the expertise of his team of world-class experts
Features
Statistics
The fitness market in Europe is entering a new phase of growth according to the European Health & Fitness Market Report 2019 by EuropeActive and Deloitte. HCM reports
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There’s no one thing that will fix your member retention, but clarity of mission, a strong culture and an eye for data will drive significant change. Kate Cracknell reports from this year’s Retention Convention
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The older people get, the more likely they are to have a long term health condition. But getting ill is not an inevitable consequence of getting older, so targeting the over 50s market could bring about multiple wins. Kath Hudson reports
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Silicon Valley hacker Dave Asprey used his tech skills to gather the latest fitness kit to create a bio hacking boutique. Kath Hudson investigates cusapero
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Analysis
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New research from Deloitte China and IHRSA shows the market for health and fitness in India is starting to grow, as Kirsten Walsh reports
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People
I used to ask the Department of Health why it would throw billons into smoking cessation but not physical activity. Because actually, if you put people on a smoking cessation course, their chances of completing it are much higher if they’re physically active before they start
People
Much of the fitness industry branding is based on a no pain, no gain philosophy, but we didn’t want to present Rabble like that, even though a session is ridiculously tiring!
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As clubs with swimming pools and health and beauty facilities, the low cost model wasn’t going to work for us, but the clubs weren’t as high-end as David Lloyd clubs either. Our first intervention was to win over the staff and encourage them to act as though it was a high-end club
People
With two instructors per class – one devoted to correcting form – we fix people, and this creates clients for life
People
We want to develop the next generation of health and wellbeing centres, offering a mix of clinical, physical and emotional wellbeing services
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We like the idea of creating great brands and great companies that larger businesses then have a strong desire to own. We make our return by helping to grow businesses and build beautiful brands
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The founders of F45 Training have done an incredible job building a global brand, and with this partnership, we hope to continue to disrupt the fitness industry
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Technogym has helped us ensure that every facility has the same selection of equipment. It’s part of the commitment we’ve made to deliver a top quality service for every community
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Our members are busy people who, when they come to see us in between their work meetings, want to be pushed. That’s easier with a trainer
People
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Our qualification increases learners’ awareness, encourages empathy and instils confidence to speak to people affected by mental ill-health
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Property & Tenders
Will to Win
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Diary dates
06-07 Jul 2019
Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Diary dates
23-25 Jul 2019
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Diary dates
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