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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

IHRSA update: News

Kristen Walsh outlines some of the key findings from The IHRSA European Health Club Report

By Kristen Walsh, IHRSA | Published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 11

IHRSA released the 2013 edition of The IHRSA European Health Club Report: Size & Scope of the Fitness Industry at its European Congress in October.

The report focuses on the health club industry in leading and emerging markets in Western and Eastern Europe, including Russia. “This report is the most comprehensive examination of the European health club industry available,” says Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s executive vice president of global products. “With insights derived from more than 40 industry leader interviews, the report is the ultimate reference on the industry in Europe for club operators, developers, analysts, lenders and investors.”

The report provides analysis of 32 health club markets, and includes 17 comprehensive country reports as well as profiles of 15 emerging markets.

European overview
Roughly 44 million members frequent 48,000 clubs in Europe, where revenues are an estimated €25bn. While the economic environment has challenged some markets in recent years, the industry has posted growth in key countries including Germany, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden.
Germany leads all markets covered in the report in terms of number of clubs, with more than 7,500 facilities. Meanwhile Norway claims the greatest membership penetration rate: nearly 16 per cent of the total population, and 25 per cent of Norwegians over the age of 15.

Challenges and opportunities remain in Portugal, Italy, Spain and Greece, where high VAT rates and debt have affected growth in recent years. Nonetheless, experts believe opportunities remain for clubs to address obesity rates, facilitate regular physical activity and complement sports participation outside of the club.

Spain and Italy still rank among the top five European markets in market size, number of clubs and memberships, while Portugal and Greece maintain member penetration rates well below the average for EU markets (6 per cent), therefore signifying potential for future growth.

“Although the economy has clearly challenged Western Europe, several markets are stable, with some witnessing moderate growth,” says Hans Muench, IHRSA director of Europe.

“Looking ahead, we anticipate consumer penetration rates will rise, particularly in Eastern Europe where less than 5 per cent of the population currently patronise clubs.”

Emerging markets in Eastern Europe account for roughly €1.1bn in health club revenue, from 6,900 health clubs and 2.3 million members. Poland and Turkey lead emerging markets in terms of market size, club count and memberships.

Industry trends
The report also sheds light on industry trends. “Indoor cycling is incredibly popular, especially in Scandinavia,” says Muench. “Group exercise in its various forms is still strong, and the new trend of virtual classes is making inroads as well.”

The report also highlights another trend: the focus not just on the workout, but on pre- and post-workout activities. “Expansive wellness and relaxation areas are worth taking note of,” Muench adds.

Report contents
The report comprises the following sections:
European Health Club Industry Overview – the economy, VAT rate impact, leading /struggling markets, drivers for growth.
Market Reports – in-depth analysis of European markets along with interviews with club operators, association leaders and other experts in each country.

Emerging Markets – a special report on markets poised for growth.

Company Profiles – a snapshot of 100 leading club companies in Europe.

A note from Finland

Anna Rounaja
Anna Rounaja
Anna Rounaja,

Owner and Development Director,

Hukka Oy


The economic situation in our region has been challenging for the fitness sector, with massive layoffs. However, at Hukka Oy we’ve been able to grow our net memberships by 24 per cent in a year. I see three key drivers that explain this.

The first driver is our strong customer-driven management style. Customer surveys, crowd sourcing, active social media presence and planning for the future to positively surprise our members are all everyday tasks for us.

The second driver is a core value of ours, namely our focus on turning our clubs into communities. When unemployment hits, social circles change. If a member has a habit of training and meeting friends at your club, they do not want to lose that social engagement as well as losing their job. Thanks to active programming, our cancellations are currently at 20 per cent.

The third driver is that we’ve talked to the best consultants in the world. Their know-how and vision have given us that extra confidence we needed to make the right decisions and have definitely contributed to our success.

Our advice to health club operators is to design services for the people who want to be part of your club. Be clever in collecting and using the information you get from your members to enhance your club, and you’ll see it reflected in your bottom line.

Don’t forget the big picture. For example, small decisions can significantly reduce energy consumption in your club, which can help you make your business sustainable and more affordable. You don’t want your club to be the gas-consuming Humvee nobody wants to buy in two years.

This piece was excerpted from The IHRSA European Health Club Report 2013.

Hukka Oy puts its success down to strong customer relations and building a sense of community in its clubs
Hukka Oy puts its success down to strong customer relations and building a sense of community in its clubs

Ask the experts: Rewarding member referrals

What’s the best way to reward a health club member who refers one or more new members to our facility? Justin Tamsett, owner of Active Management in Australia, offers
his insight on this topic:

Justin Tamsett, owner of Active Management in Australia
Justin Tamsett, owner of Active Management in Australia

“Many years ago, I read about a health club promotion where a different promotional product was given away each month to those who referred new members. A referral was the only way to obtain the item.

“We decided to try this, and our club invested over A$7,500 to have several items branded and for the supporting marketing material. All of this resulted in no change to the number of referrals.

“So I asked our members what they wanted (perhaps I should have done that first) and they told me ‘free memberships’. We then made that our standard referral gift: one month free for each referral. We sent the voucher in the mail as a thank you gift and the member had to bring it in to redeem it and get their free month, thus allowing us to say a personal ‘thank you’.

I’ve heard of clubs offering A$5 off the referrer’s monthly dues as long as the new member stays a member, which I like – but your CRM had better be able to deliver this, or it will turn into an administrative nightmare. My overall suggestion: give the members what they truly want when they refer others.”

Read more answers to this question at www.ihrsa.org/industryleader

Ask members what they want if they refer a friend / photo: www.shutterstock.com/iofoto
Ask members what they want if they refer a friend / photo: www.shutterstock.com/iofoto

FOR MORE INFORMATION

The European Health Club Report: Size & Scope of the Fitness Industry is available at www.ihrsa.org/research-reports in PDF format for IHRSA members (€199.95 / US$269.95) and non-members (€399.95/ US$569.95). The report is also available in print format from www.ihrsa.org/store

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Anna Rounaja of Hukka Oy considers success in the Finnish fitness market, and IHRSA publishes its latest European report
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features

IHRSA update: News

Kristen Walsh outlines some of the key findings from The IHRSA European Health Club Report

By Kristen Walsh, IHRSA | Published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 11

IHRSA released the 2013 edition of The IHRSA European Health Club Report: Size & Scope of the Fitness Industry at its European Congress in October.

The report focuses on the health club industry in leading and emerging markets in Western and Eastern Europe, including Russia. “This report is the most comprehensive examination of the European health club industry available,” says Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s executive vice president of global products. “With insights derived from more than 40 industry leader interviews, the report is the ultimate reference on the industry in Europe for club operators, developers, analysts, lenders and investors.”

The report provides analysis of 32 health club markets, and includes 17 comprehensive country reports as well as profiles of 15 emerging markets.

European overview
Roughly 44 million members frequent 48,000 clubs in Europe, where revenues are an estimated €25bn. While the economic environment has challenged some markets in recent years, the industry has posted growth in key countries including Germany, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden.
Germany leads all markets covered in the report in terms of number of clubs, with more than 7,500 facilities. Meanwhile Norway claims the greatest membership penetration rate: nearly 16 per cent of the total population, and 25 per cent of Norwegians over the age of 15.

Challenges and opportunities remain in Portugal, Italy, Spain and Greece, where high VAT rates and debt have affected growth in recent years. Nonetheless, experts believe opportunities remain for clubs to address obesity rates, facilitate regular physical activity and complement sports participation outside of the club.

Spain and Italy still rank among the top five European markets in market size, number of clubs and memberships, while Portugal and Greece maintain member penetration rates well below the average for EU markets (6 per cent), therefore signifying potential for future growth.

“Although the economy has clearly challenged Western Europe, several markets are stable, with some witnessing moderate growth,” says Hans Muench, IHRSA director of Europe.

“Looking ahead, we anticipate consumer penetration rates will rise, particularly in Eastern Europe where less than 5 per cent of the population currently patronise clubs.”

Emerging markets in Eastern Europe account for roughly €1.1bn in health club revenue, from 6,900 health clubs and 2.3 million members. Poland and Turkey lead emerging markets in terms of market size, club count and memberships.

Industry trends
The report also sheds light on industry trends. “Indoor cycling is incredibly popular, especially in Scandinavia,” says Muench. “Group exercise in its various forms is still strong, and the new trend of virtual classes is making inroads as well.”

The report also highlights another trend: the focus not just on the workout, but on pre- and post-workout activities. “Expansive wellness and relaxation areas are worth taking note of,” Muench adds.

Report contents
The report comprises the following sections:
European Health Club Industry Overview – the economy, VAT rate impact, leading /struggling markets, drivers for growth.
Market Reports – in-depth analysis of European markets along with interviews with club operators, association leaders and other experts in each country.

Emerging Markets – a special report on markets poised for growth.

Company Profiles – a snapshot of 100 leading club companies in Europe.

A note from Finland

Anna Rounaja
Anna Rounaja
Anna Rounaja,

Owner and Development Director,

Hukka Oy


The economic situation in our region has been challenging for the fitness sector, with massive layoffs. However, at Hukka Oy we’ve been able to grow our net memberships by 24 per cent in a year. I see three key drivers that explain this.

The first driver is our strong customer-driven management style. Customer surveys, crowd sourcing, active social media presence and planning for the future to positively surprise our members are all everyday tasks for us.

The second driver is a core value of ours, namely our focus on turning our clubs into communities. When unemployment hits, social circles change. If a member has a habit of training and meeting friends at your club, they do not want to lose that social engagement as well as losing their job. Thanks to active programming, our cancellations are currently at 20 per cent.

The third driver is that we’ve talked to the best consultants in the world. Their know-how and vision have given us that extra confidence we needed to make the right decisions and have definitely contributed to our success.

Our advice to health club operators is to design services for the people who want to be part of your club. Be clever in collecting and using the information you get from your members to enhance your club, and you’ll see it reflected in your bottom line.

Don’t forget the big picture. For example, small decisions can significantly reduce energy consumption in your club, which can help you make your business sustainable and more affordable. You don’t want your club to be the gas-consuming Humvee nobody wants to buy in two years.

This piece was excerpted from The IHRSA European Health Club Report 2013.

Hukka Oy puts its success down to strong customer relations and building a sense of community in its clubs
Hukka Oy puts its success down to strong customer relations and building a sense of community in its clubs

Ask the experts: Rewarding member referrals

What’s the best way to reward a health club member who refers one or more new members to our facility? Justin Tamsett, owner of Active Management in Australia, offers
his insight on this topic:

Justin Tamsett, owner of Active Management in Australia
Justin Tamsett, owner of Active Management in Australia

“Many years ago, I read about a health club promotion where a different promotional product was given away each month to those who referred new members. A referral was the only way to obtain the item.

“We decided to try this, and our club invested over A$7,500 to have several items branded and for the supporting marketing material. All of this resulted in no change to the number of referrals.

“So I asked our members what they wanted (perhaps I should have done that first) and they told me ‘free memberships’. We then made that our standard referral gift: one month free for each referral. We sent the voucher in the mail as a thank you gift and the member had to bring it in to redeem it and get their free month, thus allowing us to say a personal ‘thank you’.

I’ve heard of clubs offering A$5 off the referrer’s monthly dues as long as the new member stays a member, which I like – but your CRM had better be able to deliver this, or it will turn into an administrative nightmare. My overall suggestion: give the members what they truly want when they refer others.”

Read more answers to this question at www.ihrsa.org/industryleader

Ask members what they want if they refer a friend / photo: www.shutterstock.com/iofoto
Ask members what they want if they refer a friend / photo: www.shutterstock.com/iofoto

FOR MORE INFORMATION

The European Health Club Report: Size & Scope of the Fitness Industry is available at www.ihrsa.org/research-reports in PDF format for IHRSA members (€199.95 / US$269.95) and non-members (€399.95/ US$569.95). The report is also available in print format from www.ihrsa.org/store

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2013_11IHRSA.gif
Anna Rounaja of Hukka Oy considers success in the Finnish fitness market, and IHRSA publishes its latest European report
IHRSA EUROPE, Finnish fitness market
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Featured supplier news: It’s nearly time for Elevate 2022!
It’s now just days to go until your leading trade show for the fitness, physical activity and sports therapy industry kicks off in London!
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Featured operator news: New partnership delivers swimming support to children with disabilities
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Featured operator news: Everyone Active to launch new exercise classes to reduce gender gap
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Video Gallery
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Mindbody, Inc
Mindbody, Inc
Company profiles
Company profile: Future Fit
More than just a training provider, we offer a range of ready to go and ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Everyone Active
Everyone Active operates leisure centres in partnership with local councils across the UK. Today, Everyone ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
21-21 Sep 2022
Various, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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