Active IQ
Active IQ
Active IQ
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Founding member
Get the latest news, jobs and features in your inbox
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

A land of opportunity

New research provides valuable insights into the fitness industry in Zealand. Trent Brown offers an analysis of the two markets based on the key findings of the report

By Trent Brown, Ezypay, | Published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 11
Clubs offering budget memberships and 24-hour facilities were identified as potential growth areas

The Australian economy has been the envy of much of the world in recent years. However, while it’s true most sectors of the fitness industry have fared comparatively well in globally tough times, that’s not to say that business owners are resting on their laurels.

The fitness landscape in Australia and New Zealand has changed considerably in recent years, most notably with the growth of small footprint and 24-hour clubs challenging the big players. This, coupled with reduced discretionary consumer spending caused by economic uncertainty, has resulted in a highly competitive environment.

But in spite of the challenges, it’s encouraging for the industry that more than 50 per cent of Australian and New Zealand clubs saw a growth in membership in 2013: 33 per cent saw growth of 1–10 per cent, while 26 per cent saw more than 10 per cent growth.

These are some of the topline findings of this year’s Australia and New Zealand Fitness Industry Survey (ANZFIS), conducted by Ezypay and involving almost 20,000 responses: 1,1,50 clubs and 18,940 members and non-members.

We take a look at some of the key findings and trends highlighted by this year’s report.

Smaller facilities
Although big chain clubs can be found in major cities and towns in Australia and New Zealand, privately owned single clubs enjoy a considerable slice of the market. Franchise clubs are also prominent, and PT studios and CrossFit facilities (or ‘boxes’ or ‘box clubs’ as they are also known) are also making an impact. Indeed, more than half of the facilities that responded to this year’s survey had fewer than 500 members, reflecting the market share enjoyed by small to medium-sized fitness businesses.

Facilities and services
Free weights have overtaken fixed resistance machines in popularity over recent years: in 2011, 79 per cent of clubs offered fixed resistance machines, and 64 per cent offered free weights; in 2013, those numbers had changed to 73 per cent and 82 per cent respectively. This is an interesting turnaround, and ties in with the growth in popularity of functional and bodyweight training. In leaner financial times, it may also be an indication that some clubs have embraced training formats that use smaller, cheaper free weight equipment.

In terms of group exercise, 57 per cent of responding clubs had at least one studio – an increase from the 2011 ANZFIS, when the figure was 43 per cent. The higher prominence of CrossFit facilities also reflects the recent growth in popularity of group training formats.

Over one-third of clubs say they intend to invest in gym equipment in the coming financial year: 41 per cent plan to invest in cardio equipment and 35 per cent in weight training equipment.

Changing formats
Among members who have, at one time or another, lapsed their membership, lack of time was cited as the most common reason for the decision. The industry seems to be responding, however, with the introduction of short, tough, results-focused exercise workouts – high-intensity interval training (HIIT) formats such as Tabata, CrossFit, Les Mill’s GRIT series – and even whole club concepts, such as Fitness First’s The Zone in Sydney.

Indeed, the most significant growth areas for the fitness industry – as identified by clubs responding to this year’s survey – include new workout concepts such as CrossFit, express workouts, small group training and small group fitness studios, and obstacle course events and classes. Clubs could potentially benefit from focusing on the provision of these training opportunities in their marketing and promotions.

Clubs offering budget memberships (under $10 a week in either Australian or New Zealand currency) and 24-hour facilities were also identified as potential future growth areas, as was personal training and catering for new niches – specifically adult and childhood obesity, and the growing seniors market.

Personal training
In the 2011 ANZFIS, 56 per cent of Australian clubs reported employing all of their personal trainers, while 25 per cent of clubs opted to contract their PTs. In 2013, however, this situation has been reversed, with more clubs contracting PTs than employing them.

In the 2011 survey, it was noted that the NZ experience of higher PT contracting levels correlated with fewer problems. The report observed: “It could suggest that contracted staff are of a higher quality than employed staff, perhaps taking greater ownership of their role, equating to higher education, conduct and overall professionalism.”

Most often, clubs source remuneration from PTs via a percentage of income (42 per cent), via rent (35 per cent) or a mixture of both (23 per cent). The ways in which clubs derive income from PTs has remained consistent in both Australia and New Zealand.

From a member perspective, more than half of members surveyed (55 per cent) have never tried personal training. Of the 45 per cent who currently do use a PT, many have only done so for three months or less (33 per cent). Encouragingly though, 22 per cent have used a PT for 12 months or longer.

Member acquisition and retention
The main reason members said they joined a club was location (33 per cent). Additional reasons for joining included value for money (13 per cent), or because they offered a different type of exercise (9 per cent). A mere 7 per cent joined their current club because it was cheaper, which confirms that price is no longer a sole deciding factor. It will be interesting to see how this changes in the coming year, however, as more budget operators enter the Australian and New Zealand marketplace.

When it comes to remaining a member, location was the biggest factor (54 per cent), followed by value for money (46 per cent) and having professional staff – defined as polite, approachable and on-hand (39 per cent). Indeed, when asked about interaction with staff, 60.2 per cent of members said they felt it was important on every visit to the club, with 29 per cent of members even reporting that engaging staff who made conversation, rather than just delivering an initial greeting, were an important reason why they remained a member. While clubs don’t have to be cheapest, value is key and is seen to lie in the member experience.

When asked about their overall satisfaction with their current club, 34 per cent of members say they are very satisfied and 26 per cent are somewhat satisfied; 14 per cent believe their club is OK; and 26 per cent feel somewhat unsatisfied (9 per cent) or very unsatisfied (17 per cent).

Social media
In the 2010 ANZFIS, social media didn’t feature in the top 10 most successful marketing and communication methods. In the 2011 report, it came in 10th. In 2013, however, the club’s own website was ranked first (37 per cent) with social media sites ranked second (15 per cent) – in particular Facebook.

With so many people using social media to communicate with friends and recommend or discuss their experiences – including fitness achievements, classes attended and club check-ins – these online platforms should be given a high priority by clubs looking to drive word of mouth referrals.

Certainly the majority of clubs say they plan to invest in their website and/or social media strategy in the next financial year.

However, while a high proportion of club members use Facebook (80 per cent of this year’s respondents), and are happy to see information and content in their club’s social media feed, most prefer not to be communicated with via this medium.

The future of fitness
Although operators reportedly do not perceive there to be high levels of competition, the Australian and New Zealand marketplace is increasingly busy. This has arguably been to the benefit of the fitness industry, however, forcing clubs to up their game and improve the service they deliver.

Combined with ongoing membership growth and reported plans for investment in the coming year, this all paints a picture of a buoyant industry with its eye on further growth in the years ahead.

Current issues faced by clubs

On average, and in order of importance, the most significant issues identified by clubs in Australia and New Zealand this year are:

* Government legislation
* Obtaining finance
* Staff retention
* Finding an effective software system
* Better understanding of how to use social media
* Motivating staff
* Managing staff
* Finding good staff
* Competition from other operators
* Marketing
* Member retention
* Membership sales

Trent Brown is CEO of Ezypay, a company based in Sydney, Australia, which supports businesses via an outsourced direct debit and credit card management system. He has led some of the fastest growing businesses in Australia and uses this success to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for sustainable business growth. 
Web www.ezypay.com

Results-focused workouts are growing in popularity / pictured: Les Mills RPM
Results-focused workouts are growing in popularity / pictured: Les Mills RPM
Tabata training (below) and CrossFit are making an impact
Tabata training (below) and CrossFit are making an impact
Fitness First now has a range of formats including Black Label clubs and The Zone
Fitness First now has a range of formats including Black Label clubs and The Zone
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/HCM2013_11global.gif
Trent Brown analyses a new report on the Australian and New Zealand health and fitness markets
People
Kate Cracknell talks connected health and digital transformation with Chris Blackwell-Frost, Martin Friend and Rick Crawford from Nuffield Health’s senior management team
People
HCM people

Michael Ramsay

Founder and director, STRONG Rowformer
There’s something about the combination of fast-twitch and slow-twitch fibres working together that absolutely destroys you and gives you an almost euphoric feeling at the end of every workout
People
HCM people

Professor Zhen Yan

director of the Center for Skeletal Muscle Research, University of Virginia
Regular exercise may help people survive COVID-19
Features
Opinion
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is now
Features
Coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has inspired a huge pivot to digital right across the industry, from sole traders to large chains and trusts. Kath Hudson looks at some of the offerings pulled together in lightning fast time to keep members active and sane
Features
Software
With the coronavirus pandemic forcing gyms across the world to temporarily close their doors, staying connected to your members digitally has never been more important. Software suppliers tell Steph Eaves how they’re contributing
Features
feature
Matrix Connected Solutions helps Roko deliver a digital member experience beyond the four walls of the clubs
Features
HCM research
The good news? People are changing their exercise habits in lockdown, becoming more active and spending more time exercising with their children, according to new research
Features
Insight
Industry analyst David Minton launched his new fitNdata global monitor just in time to catch the headline numbers for the impact of the coronavirus on the sector. He tells us how it’s looking
Features
Supplier showcase
With the spread of COVID-19 forcing more people into isolation, PureGym worked with FunXtion to rapidly include a digital on-demand workout offering to support members at home
Features
Latest News
DataHub has launched a contact tracking app, specifically designed for the fitness and physical activity ...
Latest News
ukactive has questioned the government's decision to make all employers start paying towards the wages ...
Latest News
A study on how exercise changes the body at a molecular level has suggested that ...
Latest News
A new industry support association, Fitness United, launches today (1 June) to bring suppliers and ...
Latest News
Corporate broking and advisory firm, Peel Hunt, has issued a 'buy' recommendation for shares in ...
Latest News
Health club chain 24 Hour Fitness has reopened some of its sites in Texas and ...
Latest News
The fitness industry in Europe is uniting today (30 May) to launch #beactivehour, a free ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Opinion
promotion
Hedgehog Concept Ltd has developed software that allows its clients to track usage and customer volume on a minute to minute basis.
Opinion: Is your software fit for COVID-19?
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Adidas calls on BLK BOX for flooring solutions at new World of Sports complex
Adidas believes that creators, just like athletes, need an environment that inspires their employees to perform and believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: What’s your Covid-19 exit strategy? How will you use this time to relaunch your business to thrive, not just survive
There is no escaping the fact that we are operating in extraordinary times. Our physical health clubs, gyms and studios are closed and we’re trying to keep our membership engaged, fit and healthy via online and digital training.
Video Gallery
Technogym mywellness app
Technogym
Improve your training experience. All your data in a single app. Read more
More videos:
    Company profiles
    Company profile: TRX Training UK
    TRX provides world-class functional training by offering quality equipment, effective workouts and world-class education capable ...
    Company profiles
    Company profile: Premier Software Solutions Ltd
    Premier Software was founded in 1994 and has proven experience developing business management solutions specifically ...
    Catalogue Gallery
    Click on a catalogue to view it online
    Directory
    Exercise equipment
    Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
    Spa software
    SpaBooker: Spa software
    Independent service & maintenance
    Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
    Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
    Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
    Management software
    Fisikal: Management software
    Skincare
    Sothys: Skincare
    Trade associations
    International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
    Gym flooring
    REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
    Wearable technology solutions
    MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
    Lockers/interior design
    Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
    Property & Tenders
    Greywell, Hampshire
    Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
    Property & Tenders
    Derby City Council
    Property & Tenders
    Diary dates
    13 Jun 2020
    Worldwide, Various,
    Diary dates
    06-07 Jul 2020
    Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
    Diary dates
    28-31 Aug 2020
    Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
    Diary dates
    21-24 Sep 2020
    Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
    Diary dates
    01-02 Oct 2020
    Whittlebury Hall, Whittlebury, United Kingdom
    Diary dates
    11-12 Oct 2020
    ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
    Diary dates
    17-23 Oct 2020
    Pinggu, Beijing, China
    Diary dates
    27-30 Oct 2020
    Messe Stuttgart, Germany
    Diary dates
    30-31 Oct 2020
    NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
    Diary dates
    27-28 Nov 2020
    Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
    Diary dates

    features

    A land of opportunity

    New research provides valuable insights into the fitness industry in Zealand. Trent Brown offers an analysis of the two markets based on the key findings of the report

    By Trent Brown, Ezypay, | Published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 11
    Clubs offering budget memberships and 24-hour facilities were identified as potential growth areas

    The Australian economy has been the envy of much of the world in recent years. However, while it’s true most sectors of the fitness industry have fared comparatively well in globally tough times, that’s not to say that business owners are resting on their laurels.

    The fitness landscape in Australia and New Zealand has changed considerably in recent years, most notably with the growth of small footprint and 24-hour clubs challenging the big players. This, coupled with reduced discretionary consumer spending caused by economic uncertainty, has resulted in a highly competitive environment.

    But in spite of the challenges, it’s encouraging for the industry that more than 50 per cent of Australian and New Zealand clubs saw a growth in membership in 2013: 33 per cent saw growth of 1–10 per cent, while 26 per cent saw more than 10 per cent growth.

    These are some of the topline findings of this year’s Australia and New Zealand Fitness Industry Survey (ANZFIS), conducted by Ezypay and involving almost 20,000 responses: 1,1,50 clubs and 18,940 members and non-members.

    We take a look at some of the key findings and trends highlighted by this year’s report.

    Smaller facilities
    Although big chain clubs can be found in major cities and towns in Australia and New Zealand, privately owned single clubs enjoy a considerable slice of the market. Franchise clubs are also prominent, and PT studios and CrossFit facilities (or ‘boxes’ or ‘box clubs’ as they are also known) are also making an impact. Indeed, more than half of the facilities that responded to this year’s survey had fewer than 500 members, reflecting the market share enjoyed by small to medium-sized fitness businesses.

    Facilities and services
    Free weights have overtaken fixed resistance machines in popularity over recent years: in 2011, 79 per cent of clubs offered fixed resistance machines, and 64 per cent offered free weights; in 2013, those numbers had changed to 73 per cent and 82 per cent respectively. This is an interesting turnaround, and ties in with the growth in popularity of functional and bodyweight training. In leaner financial times, it may also be an indication that some clubs have embraced training formats that use smaller, cheaper free weight equipment.

    In terms of group exercise, 57 per cent of responding clubs had at least one studio – an increase from the 2011 ANZFIS, when the figure was 43 per cent. The higher prominence of CrossFit facilities also reflects the recent growth in popularity of group training formats.

    Over one-third of clubs say they intend to invest in gym equipment in the coming financial year: 41 per cent plan to invest in cardio equipment and 35 per cent in weight training equipment.

    Changing formats
    Among members who have, at one time or another, lapsed their membership, lack of time was cited as the most common reason for the decision. The industry seems to be responding, however, with the introduction of short, tough, results-focused exercise workouts – high-intensity interval training (HIIT) formats such as Tabata, CrossFit, Les Mill’s GRIT series – and even whole club concepts, such as Fitness First’s The Zone in Sydney.

    Indeed, the most significant growth areas for the fitness industry – as identified by clubs responding to this year’s survey – include new workout concepts such as CrossFit, express workouts, small group training and small group fitness studios, and obstacle course events and classes. Clubs could potentially benefit from focusing on the provision of these training opportunities in their marketing and promotions.

    Clubs offering budget memberships (under $10 a week in either Australian or New Zealand currency) and 24-hour facilities were also identified as potential future growth areas, as was personal training and catering for new niches – specifically adult and childhood obesity, and the growing seniors market.

    Personal training
    In the 2011 ANZFIS, 56 per cent of Australian clubs reported employing all of their personal trainers, while 25 per cent of clubs opted to contract their PTs. In 2013, however, this situation has been reversed, with more clubs contracting PTs than employing them.

    In the 2011 survey, it was noted that the NZ experience of higher PT contracting levels correlated with fewer problems. The report observed: “It could suggest that contracted staff are of a higher quality than employed staff, perhaps taking greater ownership of their role, equating to higher education, conduct and overall professionalism.”

    Most often, clubs source remuneration from PTs via a percentage of income (42 per cent), via rent (35 per cent) or a mixture of both (23 per cent). The ways in which clubs derive income from PTs has remained consistent in both Australia and New Zealand.

    From a member perspective, more than half of members surveyed (55 per cent) have never tried personal training. Of the 45 per cent who currently do use a PT, many have only done so for three months or less (33 per cent). Encouragingly though, 22 per cent have used a PT for 12 months or longer.

    Member acquisition and retention
    The main reason members said they joined a club was location (33 per cent). Additional reasons for joining included value for money (13 per cent), or because they offered a different type of exercise (9 per cent). A mere 7 per cent joined their current club because it was cheaper, which confirms that price is no longer a sole deciding factor. It will be interesting to see how this changes in the coming year, however, as more budget operators enter the Australian and New Zealand marketplace.

    When it comes to remaining a member, location was the biggest factor (54 per cent), followed by value for money (46 per cent) and having professional staff – defined as polite, approachable and on-hand (39 per cent). Indeed, when asked about interaction with staff, 60.2 per cent of members said they felt it was important on every visit to the club, with 29 per cent of members even reporting that engaging staff who made conversation, rather than just delivering an initial greeting, were an important reason why they remained a member. While clubs don’t have to be cheapest, value is key and is seen to lie in the member experience.

    When asked about their overall satisfaction with their current club, 34 per cent of members say they are very satisfied and 26 per cent are somewhat satisfied; 14 per cent believe their club is OK; and 26 per cent feel somewhat unsatisfied (9 per cent) or very unsatisfied (17 per cent).

    Social media
    In the 2010 ANZFIS, social media didn’t feature in the top 10 most successful marketing and communication methods. In the 2011 report, it came in 10th. In 2013, however, the club’s own website was ranked first (37 per cent) with social media sites ranked second (15 per cent) – in particular Facebook.

    With so many people using social media to communicate with friends and recommend or discuss their experiences – including fitness achievements, classes attended and club check-ins – these online platforms should be given a high priority by clubs looking to drive word of mouth referrals.

    Certainly the majority of clubs say they plan to invest in their website and/or social media strategy in the next financial year.

    However, while a high proportion of club members use Facebook (80 per cent of this year’s respondents), and are happy to see information and content in their club’s social media feed, most prefer not to be communicated with via this medium.

    The future of fitness
    Although operators reportedly do not perceive there to be high levels of competition, the Australian and New Zealand marketplace is increasingly busy. This has arguably been to the benefit of the fitness industry, however, forcing clubs to up their game and improve the service they deliver.

    Combined with ongoing membership growth and reported plans for investment in the coming year, this all paints a picture of a buoyant industry with its eye on further growth in the years ahead.

    Current issues faced by clubs

    On average, and in order of importance, the most significant issues identified by clubs in Australia and New Zealand this year are:

    * Government legislation
    * Obtaining finance
    * Staff retention
    * Finding an effective software system
    * Better understanding of how to use social media
    * Motivating staff
    * Managing staff
    * Finding good staff
    * Competition from other operators
    * Marketing
    * Member retention
    * Membership sales

    Trent Brown is CEO of Ezypay, a company based in Sydney, Australia, which supports businesses via an outsourced direct debit and credit card management system. He has led some of the fastest growing businesses in Australia and uses this success to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for sustainable business growth. 
    Web www.ezypay.com

    Results-focused workouts are growing in popularity / pictured: Les Mills RPM
    Results-focused workouts are growing in popularity / pictured: Les Mills RPM
    Tabata training (below) and CrossFit are making an impact
    Tabata training (below) and CrossFit are making an impact
    Fitness First now has a range of formats including Black Label clubs and The Zone
    Fitness First now has a range of formats including Black Label clubs and The Zone
    http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/HCM2013_11global.gif
    Trent Brown analyses a new report on the Australian and New Zealand health and fitness markets
    Latest News
    DataHub has launched a contact tracking app, specifically designed for the fitness and physical activity ...
    Latest News
    ukactive has questioned the government's decision to make all employers start paying towards the wages ...
    Latest News
    A study on how exercise changes the body at a molecular level has suggested that ...
    Latest News
    A new industry support association, Fitness United, launches today (1 June) to bring suppliers and ...
    Latest News
    Corporate broking and advisory firm, Peel Hunt, has issued a 'buy' recommendation for shares in ...
    Latest News
    Health club chain 24 Hour Fitness has reopened some of its sites in Texas and ...
    Latest News
    The fitness industry in Europe is uniting today (30 May) to launch #beactivehour, a free ...
    Latest News
    PureGym has become the latest fitness operator to deploy a digital offering in a bid ...
    Latest News
    A new report has revealed the likely timescales and shape of the UK fitness market's ...
    Latest News
    There has been a "surge in appreciation" of exercise during lockdown, with people turning to ...
    Job search
    POST YOUR JOB
    Opinion
    promotion
    Hedgehog Concept Ltd has developed software that allows its clients to track usage and customer volume on a minute to minute basis.
    Opinion: Is your software fit for COVID-19?
    Featured supplier news
    Featured supplier: Adidas calls on BLK BOX for flooring solutions at new World of Sports complex
    Adidas believes that creators, just like athletes, need an environment that inspires their employees to perform and believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives.
    Featured supplier news
    Featured supplier: What’s your Covid-19 exit strategy? How will you use this time to relaunch your business to thrive, not just survive
    There is no escaping the fact that we are operating in extraordinary times. Our physical health clubs, gyms and studios are closed and we’re trying to keep our membership engaged, fit and healthy via online and digital training.
    Video Gallery
    Technogym mywellness app
    Technogym
    Improve your training experience. All your data in a single app. Read more
    More videos:
      Company profiles
      Company profile: TRX Training UK
      TRX provides world-class functional training by offering quality equipment, effective workouts and world-class education capable ...
      Company profiles
      Company profile: Premier Software Solutions Ltd
      Premier Software was founded in 1994 and has proven experience developing business management solutions specifically ...
      Catalogue Gallery
      Click on a catalogue to view it online
      Directory
      Exercise equipment
      Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
      Spa software
      SpaBooker: Spa software
      Independent service & maintenance
      Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
      Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
      Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
      Management software
      Fisikal: Management software
      Skincare
      Sothys: Skincare
      Trade associations
      International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
      Gym flooring
      REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
      Wearable technology solutions
      MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
      Lockers/interior design
      Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
      Property & Tenders
      Greywell, Hampshire
      Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
      Property & Tenders
      Derby City Council
      Property & Tenders
      Diary dates
      13 Jun 2020
      Worldwide, Various,
      Diary dates
      06-07 Jul 2020
      Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
      Diary dates
      28-31 Aug 2020
      Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
      Diary dates
      21-24 Sep 2020
      Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
      Diary dates
      01-02 Oct 2020
      Whittlebury Hall, Whittlebury, United Kingdom
      Diary dates
      11-12 Oct 2020
      ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
      Diary dates
      17-23 Oct 2020
      Pinggu, Beijing, China
      Diary dates
      27-30 Oct 2020
      Messe Stuttgart, Germany
      Diary dates
      30-31 Oct 2020
      NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
      Diary dates
      27-28 Nov 2020
      Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
      Diary dates
      Search news, features & products:
      Find a supplier:
      Active IQ
      Active IQ