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FITNESS, HEALTH, WELLNESS

features

Editor’s letter: Focus on property

While some savvy operators have cracked the formula for property development, the wider industry has no access to information about things like rent to income ratios. Better data would enable us to thrive as a sector

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 6
Some operators are getting great results in retail locations / PHOTO: THE GYM GROUP
Some operators are getting great results in retail locations / PHOTO: THE GYM GROUP
Operators running some of the most successful fitness businesses have been quietly developing seriously impressive property teams

When it comes to driving financial success – whether for profit or social good – the industry has traditionally had a strong focus on sales, marketing and retention. However, although these are vital parts of the mix, operators running some of the most successful fitness businesses have been quietly developing seriously impressive property teams. It’s becoming clear this is giving them a significant commercial advantage.

The way real estate is handled in relation to the development of clubs and the management and refurbishment of assets is starting to define value in the market in ways not previously seen.

Yet very little is generally known about the impact of real estate on the sector – there are no widely available industry surveys which track rental costs or values or look at profitability or asset value by location or by location type.

We don’t have shared numbers about the best location types, or where the rent to income ratios are most favourable, nor is this being tracked over time to show changes.

Neither do we assess in any depth how refurbishment cycles impact on the bottom line or how co-location affects turnover and profitability. These are all things we need to know.

In this issue, we open a discussion about property in our Ask an Expert feature on page 30. We look at some of the ways leading operators are managing their portfolios and ask how the industry can continue to thrive, as competition for sites intensifies and rental values increase in prime locations.

A new report from Allegra Strategies, called Project Fitness UK 2018, gives insights into the direction the industry is going, showing a strong drift towards retail-related locations.

Allegra says the majority of new private sector facilities built since 2012 have been in shopping centres, mixed use schemes, on retail parks and on the high street and our experts agree the contraction of retail is proving beneficial to gym operators.

New clubs will open at the rate of well over 300 a year in the UK for the next five years and it seems clear that when growth in the UK starts to slow – if the terms of Brexit make it viable operators will look to Europe to keep up the momentum, and so we will need to start extending this knowledge into Europe too.

On page 42, we publish Deloitte and EuropeActive’s latest numbers on the market, but again, the focus of this research is on membership and the number of locations. We’d like all industry analysts to start collecting data about rental values and property yields as well, so the best investment decisions can be made.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The Wellness Clinic at Harrods will offer high-end treatments and workouts
The Wellness Clinic at Harrods will offer high-end treatments and workouts
Louise Parker has built a lifestyle fitness and nutrition business and is the author of Lean for Life
Louise Parker has built a lifestyle fitness and nutrition business and is the author of Lean for Life
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/396201_235205.jpg
'Very little is generally known about the impact of real estate on the sector... Better data would enable us to thrive' – editor Liz Terry calls for industry surveys to start tracking real estate stats
Liz Terry, MD, Leisure Media,property development, industry surveys,
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Fairmont Riyadh , Saudi Arabia
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Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
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07-07 Jun 2025
Worldwide, Various,
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features

Editor’s letter: Focus on property

While some savvy operators have cracked the formula for property development, the wider industry has no access to information about things like rent to income ratios. Better data would enable us to thrive as a sector

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 6
Some operators are getting great results in retail locations / PHOTO: THE GYM GROUP
Some operators are getting great results in retail locations / PHOTO: THE GYM GROUP
Operators running some of the most successful fitness businesses have been quietly developing seriously impressive property teams

When it comes to driving financial success – whether for profit or social good – the industry has traditionally had a strong focus on sales, marketing and retention. However, although these are vital parts of the mix, operators running some of the most successful fitness businesses have been quietly developing seriously impressive property teams. It’s becoming clear this is giving them a significant commercial advantage.

The way real estate is handled in relation to the development of clubs and the management and refurbishment of assets is starting to define value in the market in ways not previously seen.

Yet very little is generally known about the impact of real estate on the sector – there are no widely available industry surveys which track rental costs or values or look at profitability or asset value by location or by location type.

We don’t have shared numbers about the best location types, or where the rent to income ratios are most favourable, nor is this being tracked over time to show changes.

Neither do we assess in any depth how refurbishment cycles impact on the bottom line or how co-location affects turnover and profitability. These are all things we need to know.

In this issue, we open a discussion about property in our Ask an Expert feature on page 30. We look at some of the ways leading operators are managing their portfolios and ask how the industry can continue to thrive, as competition for sites intensifies and rental values increase in prime locations.

A new report from Allegra Strategies, called Project Fitness UK 2018, gives insights into the direction the industry is going, showing a strong drift towards retail-related locations.

Allegra says the majority of new private sector facilities built since 2012 have been in shopping centres, mixed use schemes, on retail parks and on the high street and our experts agree the contraction of retail is proving beneficial to gym operators.

New clubs will open at the rate of well over 300 a year in the UK for the next five years and it seems clear that when growth in the UK starts to slow – if the terms of Brexit make it viable operators will look to Europe to keep up the momentum, and so we will need to start extending this knowledge into Europe too.

On page 42, we publish Deloitte and EuropeActive’s latest numbers on the market, but again, the focus of this research is on membership and the number of locations. We’d like all industry analysts to start collecting data about rental values and property yields as well, so the best investment decisions can be made.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The Wellness Clinic at Harrods will offer high-end treatments and workouts
The Wellness Clinic at Harrods will offer high-end treatments and workouts
Louise Parker has built a lifestyle fitness and nutrition business and is the author of Lean for Life
Louise Parker has built a lifestyle fitness and nutrition business and is the author of Lean for Life
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/396201_235205.jpg
'Very little is generally known about the impact of real estate on the sector... Better data would enable us to thrive' – editor Liz Terry calls for industry surveys to start tracking real estate stats
Liz Terry, MD, Leisure Media,property development, industry surveys,
Latest News
Fitness-focused hospitality brand and management company Equinox Hotels has announced plans to open a modern ...
Latest News
Finalists for the UK Active Awards 2024 have been announced. Winners from across the 14 ...
Latest News
Midlands-based boutique operator, MK Health Hub, has launched a Pilates-inspired concept called MK Reformed, with ...
Latest News
US health and fitness giant, Planet Fitness, which flagged plans to launch in Spain back ...
Latest News
Urban Gym Group CEO Neil Randall talks in this month’s HCM about how being passed ...
Latest News
Boxing and strength franchise UBX has taken a step closer to realising its ambitions to ...
Latest News
Fitness International has announced the acquisition of XSport Fitness, adding to its portfolio of brands, ...
Latest News
Community Leisure UK (CLUK) and The Richmond Group of Charities have joined forces to support ...
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Mental Health Swims has been awarded almost £18,000 of lottery money to extend its mission ...
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Altrafit introduces custom functional fitness equipment at Third Space
Altrafit has taken further steps to cement its reputation as a provider of high-quality, affordable functional fitness equipment that is built to last with the development and introduction of a new functional fitness keg for luxury gym operator, Third Space.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: THFI’s new online coaching course partners with FITR: launch your business confidently post-completion
In today's rapidly evolving fitness industry, where many online courses promise secret formulas for entrepreneurial success, the reality is that few provide the necessary knowledge to thrive in this fast-changing profession.
Company profiles
Company profile: Seca
As the world market leader of medical measuring and weighing we take body composition analysis ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Spivi
Spivi is an immersive fitness gamification platform that helps gym operators to achieve better retention ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Matrix: Futureproofing
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Safe Space: Delivering the vision
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Taylor Made Designs Ltd press release: Striving for better: TMD sets sights on international environmental standard
In a move to further strengthen its mission to be ‘caringly responsible’ Taylor Made Designs (TMD) is committed to meeting the requirements of ISO 14001, the internationally agreed and recognised standard for Environmental Management Systems (EMS).
Featured press releases
Alliance Leisure Services (Design, Build and Fund) press release: New £13.5m leisure and learning hub spearheads regeneration of coastal town
The launch of Mablethorpe’s new Station Leisure & Learning Centre marks the start of a once- in-a-generation transformation of the Lincolnshire seaside town.
Directory
Lockers
Fitlockers: Lockers
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Cryotherapy
Snowroom
TechnoAlpin SpA: Snowroom
salt therapy products
Saltability: salt therapy products
Property & Tenders
Jersey
Jersey War Tunnels
Property & Tenders
Chiswick, Gillingham, York and Nottingham
Savills
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
03-05 Sep 2024
IMPACT Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand
Diary dates
08-10 Sep 2024
Wyndham® Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs™ Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
19-19 Sep 2024
The Salil Hotel Riverside - Bangkok, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Diary dates
20-22 Sep 2024
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
01-04 Oct 2024
REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort Nusa Dua Bali, Kabupaten Badung, Indonesia
Diary dates
09-13 Oct 2024
Soneva Fushi, Maldives
Diary dates
10 Oct 2024
QEII Conference Centre, London,
Diary dates
22-25 Oct 2024
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
24-24 Oct 2024
QEII Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2024
In person, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-06 Feb 2025
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
11-13 Feb 2025
Fairmont Riyadh , Saudi Arabia
Diary dates
10-13 Apr 2025
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
07-07 Jun 2025
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
28-31 Oct 2025
Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
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