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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

IHRSA update: Stateside growth

The newest research on US health club consumers paints an encouraging picture of the market. IHRSA’s Kristen Walsh outlines the opportunities identified and how they outweigh the potential challenges

By Kristen Walsh, IHRSA | Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 11
US health 
club memberships 
rose from 
55.3 million 
in 2015 to 
57.3 million 
in 2016 / shutterstock
US health club memberships rose from 55.3 million in 2015 to 57.3 million in 2016 / shutterstock
The sector now involves more clubs, more countries, more members and more business models than ever, yet it is still expanding

In 2016, 57.3 million US people belonged to a health club – up from 55.3 million in 2015, and yielding a new penetration rate of 19.3 per cent, up from 18.8 per cent. In all, 44 per cent of members used their club at least 100 times during the year and 22.1 per cent belonged to more than one facility. All are record-breaking figures revealed by The 2017 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report.

The new report acknowledges that challenges lie ahead, but these have more to do with intensified competition and determining how best to continue growing, than with a declining market or an absence of opportunities. The sector now involves more clubs, more countries, more members and more business models than ever, yet it is still expanding.

Two major research organisations – IBIS World, and Research and Markets – have both charted the rising curve, with the latter estimating that the global industry will enjoy a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.14 per cent between this year and 2022.

The trend is being driven not only by corporate ambitions and entrepreneurial aspirations, but also by shifting societal conditions that produce problematic physical and psychological effects. There are more people in general and there are more people who need the services of health clubs. And while the fitness-services market grows ever larger, the increase in the number of clubs and suppliers within the sector means that the slices of available ‘pie’ grow thinner.

Based on more than 24,000 interviews conducted in 2016 and early 2017, the 132-page 2017 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report provides a wealth of detailed information on current market opportunities, US membership trends, member demographics and attendance patterns, membership fees, personal and small-group training users, and many other topics. For the first time, the report also contains a special section on core consumers.

“This year’s report is loaded with insights on how clubs can profit from current consumer tendencies and preferences,” says Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s executive vice president of global products. Indeed, the intimate portrait it paints of the contemporary club consumer serves as a well-informed game plan for those contemplating and crafting the industry’s future.

Insight from the report

How club operators, developers and suppliers can apply the consumer research findings

1. Opportunities abound within the youth market. The under-18 group is underrepresented among health club members, relative to the overall US population. Club operators are well positioned to provide offerings to complement the unique exercise goals and needs of the youth market.

2. Don't overlook the Gen X market. The percentage of members between the ages of 35 and 54 has remained steady over the past five years, encompassing 33 per cent of the total share of membership. Attract and retain Gen X consumers with programmes that appeal to them and their children.

3. Appeal to older age groups by catering to their unique health goals. The over-54 group is tied with the under-18 segment as the fastest growing age bracket. However, like the under-18 population, this older segment is underrepresented relative to the overall US population. It’s important to consider the unique characteristics of this age cohort.

4. Maximise Millennial market potential. Rather than placing the emphasis solely on facilities and amenities, consider how all aspects of your club, including staff, can work together to create the customised training and experience the Millennial consumer is looking for.

5. Bridge the income gap with affordable and inclusive options. Health club consumer research findings reveal opportunities to serve lower income consumers: affordably priced clubs, small group training (SGT) and community programmes can all help to boost the likelihood of lower income households joining clubs.

6. Personal training and SGT can benefit clubs, developers and suppliers. Operators: use PTs that serve your target market’s needs. Developers: position your company as a training specialist for a specific niche. Suppliers: The IHRSA Health Club Equipment Report shows that over 80 per cent of clubs use equipment in training programmes.

7. Embrace multi-club users. In 2016, more than 12 million health club members belonged to more than one facility, representing 22 per cent of total memberships. Savvy club operators can embrace this phenomenon as an indicator of consumers' willingness to invest significantly in their health and fitness.

8. Equipment manufacturers must look beyond the sale of traditional kit and traditional clients to prosper in the future. Build upon equipment technology to facilitate social engagement. Envision your business not as an equipment manufacturer, but as a fitness experience and digital entertainment provider.

Operators should find new ways to appeal to the older market / shutterstock
Operators should find new ways to appeal to the older market / shutterstock

Get the report

The 2017 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report is available at:
www.ihrsa.org/consumer-report
The price is US $99.95 for IHRSA members, and US $199.95 for
non-members.

About IHRSA

IHRSA is the global trade association which represents 10,000 health and fitness facilities and suppliers. Locate an IHRSA club at www.healthclubs.com

Learn how IHRSA can help your business at www.ihrsa.org

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/533111_268504.jpg
A round up of the 2017 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report reveals promising growth opportunities in the US market
Kristen Walsh, IHRSA,IHRSA, IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report, US market, growth opportunities
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features

IHRSA update: Stateside growth

The newest research on US health club consumers paints an encouraging picture of the market. IHRSA’s Kristen Walsh outlines the opportunities identified and how they outweigh the potential challenges

By Kristen Walsh, IHRSA | Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 11
US health 
club memberships 
rose from 
55.3 million 
in 2015 to 
57.3 million 
in 2016 / shutterstock
US health club memberships rose from 55.3 million in 2015 to 57.3 million in 2016 / shutterstock
The sector now involves more clubs, more countries, more members and more business models than ever, yet it is still expanding

In 2016, 57.3 million US people belonged to a health club – up from 55.3 million in 2015, and yielding a new penetration rate of 19.3 per cent, up from 18.8 per cent. In all, 44 per cent of members used their club at least 100 times during the year and 22.1 per cent belonged to more than one facility. All are record-breaking figures revealed by The 2017 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report.

The new report acknowledges that challenges lie ahead, but these have more to do with intensified competition and determining how best to continue growing, than with a declining market or an absence of opportunities. The sector now involves more clubs, more countries, more members and more business models than ever, yet it is still expanding.

Two major research organisations – IBIS World, and Research and Markets – have both charted the rising curve, with the latter estimating that the global industry will enjoy a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.14 per cent between this year and 2022.

The trend is being driven not only by corporate ambitions and entrepreneurial aspirations, but also by shifting societal conditions that produce problematic physical and psychological effects. There are more people in general and there are more people who need the services of health clubs. And while the fitness-services market grows ever larger, the increase in the number of clubs and suppliers within the sector means that the slices of available ‘pie’ grow thinner.

Based on more than 24,000 interviews conducted in 2016 and early 2017, the 132-page 2017 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report provides a wealth of detailed information on current market opportunities, US membership trends, member demographics and attendance patterns, membership fees, personal and small-group training users, and many other topics. For the first time, the report also contains a special section on core consumers.

“This year’s report is loaded with insights on how clubs can profit from current consumer tendencies and preferences,” says Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s executive vice president of global products. Indeed, the intimate portrait it paints of the contemporary club consumer serves as a well-informed game plan for those contemplating and crafting the industry’s future.

Insight from the report

How club operators, developers and suppliers can apply the consumer research findings

1. Opportunities abound within the youth market. The under-18 group is underrepresented among health club members, relative to the overall US population. Club operators are well positioned to provide offerings to complement the unique exercise goals and needs of the youth market.

2. Don't overlook the Gen X market. The percentage of members between the ages of 35 and 54 has remained steady over the past five years, encompassing 33 per cent of the total share of membership. Attract and retain Gen X consumers with programmes that appeal to them and their children.

3. Appeal to older age groups by catering to their unique health goals. The over-54 group is tied with the under-18 segment as the fastest growing age bracket. However, like the under-18 population, this older segment is underrepresented relative to the overall US population. It’s important to consider the unique characteristics of this age cohort.

4. Maximise Millennial market potential. Rather than placing the emphasis solely on facilities and amenities, consider how all aspects of your club, including staff, can work together to create the customised training and experience the Millennial consumer is looking for.

5. Bridge the income gap with affordable and inclusive options. Health club consumer research findings reveal opportunities to serve lower income consumers: affordably priced clubs, small group training (SGT) and community programmes can all help to boost the likelihood of lower income households joining clubs.

6. Personal training and SGT can benefit clubs, developers and suppliers. Operators: use PTs that serve your target market’s needs. Developers: position your company as a training specialist for a specific niche. Suppliers: The IHRSA Health Club Equipment Report shows that over 80 per cent of clubs use equipment in training programmes.

7. Embrace multi-club users. In 2016, more than 12 million health club members belonged to more than one facility, representing 22 per cent of total memberships. Savvy club operators can embrace this phenomenon as an indicator of consumers' willingness to invest significantly in their health and fitness.

8. Equipment manufacturers must look beyond the sale of traditional kit and traditional clients to prosper in the future. Build upon equipment technology to facilitate social engagement. Envision your business not as an equipment manufacturer, but as a fitness experience and digital entertainment provider.

Operators should find new ways to appeal to the older market / shutterstock
Operators should find new ways to appeal to the older market / shutterstock

Get the report

The 2017 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report is available at:
www.ihrsa.org/consumer-report
The price is US $99.95 for IHRSA members, and US $199.95 for
non-members.

About IHRSA

IHRSA is the global trade association which represents 10,000 health and fitness facilities and suppliers. Locate an IHRSA club at www.healthclubs.com

Learn how IHRSA can help your business at www.ihrsa.org

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/533111_268504.jpg
A round up of the 2017 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report reveals promising growth opportunities in the US market
Kristen Walsh, IHRSA,IHRSA, IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report, US market, growth opportunities
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VAT reform, adjustments in business rates and a fitness-led high street regeneration push could see ...
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Half of UK adults aren't happy with their physical fitness levels, according to a study ...
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Temporary measures brought in to support businesses in the UK from insolvency during the pandemic ...
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Suffice to say that the pandemic has completely changed the way fitness professionals work and the way consumers work out – and therein lies opportunity.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Will your business last without digital transformation?
During the pandemic, a digital transformation took off faster than anyone could have predicted with meetings in person cancelled and millions working from home.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Company profiles
Company profile: Mindbody
Mindbody is the leading technology platform for the wellness industry, featuring an app that allows ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Precor
Precor has been a pioneer in delivering fitness experiences for commercial customers for more than ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Exercise equipment
Power Plate: Exercise equipment
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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