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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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Research: Insights & issues

New research from Mintel reveals private health and fitness clubs had a record breaking year in 2019. Mintel’s Lauren Ryan gives us the highlights

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 2
Mintel says record numbers of people have health club memberships / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK/ONEINCHPUNCH
Mintel says record numbers of people have health club memberships / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK/ONEINCHPUNCH

According to new research from Mintel, the number of people in the UK with a private gym membership has risen by 15 per cent over the past five years – from 5.3 million in 2014 to 6.1 million in 2019.

The UK Health And Fitness Clubs Market Report found increases over the past 12 months helped grow the total revenue registered by private health and fitness clubs to nearly £3.4bn during 2019 – an increase of 4.1 per cent on 2018.

“The rise of lower-cost options and increased number of locations has made private gyms an accessible form of leisure, while a greater focus by consumers on healthier living and exercise is also providing a boost to the sector,” says Lauren Ryan, Mintel leisure analyst.

“The convenience of more options close to work and home, with more flexible off-peak options available from the leading brands, has boosted demand, while competition has driven prices down.

“However, while membership numbers will continue to increase, competition will drive down average fees and limit revenue growth over the next five years.”

To get the report, go to HCMmag.com/mintel

7 TIPS FOR MARKET GROWTH

Mintel gives top tips for how to thrive in the fast growing fitness market

PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK/ONEINCHPUNCH
1. Compete for the best PTs

With many personal trainers paying rent to train clients in the gym, it can be difficult to keep hold of the best talent. According to Mintel, the importance of PTs themselves is confirmed by the 75 per cent of people who say the instructors play a key role in how much they like a club. Offering more fixed-term salaries or even profit share or equity options could motivate the highest-quality trainers to stay with the club.

2. Offer great classes

Varied classes and friendly, passionate instructors are vital for boosting attendance in gyms. Mintel found that classes are a key reason for many people using health and fitness clubs, with 58 per cent saying they’re the main reason they attend.

The rising competition from other fitness options is also placing increased pressure on delivering quality classes.

Best practice in this area includes timetabling class options clearly and avoiding cancelling classes and offering a wide variety of classes for all levels of fitness and friendly instructors who can build a rapport with members.

3. Be inclusive

Some people are put off joining a gym due to perceiving their fitness levels to be too low, or concern over their appearance. It’s vital that gyms show there are classes for everyone, from the more sociable, fun fitness classes to the more intensive workouts aimed at those people who have been attending the gym, or working out, for some time.

People are likely to be put off if they’re struggling to keep up with a class or routine. Providing a scale, which shows the experience and fitness levels that are required to undertake certain types of exercises, can help members to gauge the most appropriate classes for them, which in turn will keep them motivated.

4. Remember mental health matters too

As highlighted by the Mintel Trend report, Total Wellbeing, more people are looking to treat their body as an ecosystem. This means there are opportunities for health and fitness clubs to expand their range of classes to include an emphasis on mental health.

This might include more focus on yoga and meditation, or guided mindfulness to compete with popular apps such as Headspace and Calm. The Mintel report found that if clubs can offer a wider range of options to allow members to focus on all aspects of their health, including mind: body, people will attend more regularly and be far less likely to cancel memberships.

5. Give feedback

Too often people have been left to their own devices in health and fitness clubs, with little interaction after induction and brief tours of facilities. With low-cost gyms dominating the market, this has happened more, with many locations operating 24 hours a day and often having few staff or instructors present.

However, to boost membership and attendance, and counter the threat from online and app-based workouts, health and fitness clubs must focus on performance monitoring and feedback. There’s a clear demand for this, as 72 per cent of people would prefer health and fitness clubs to keep them updated on their progress.

6. Enable tracking

According to Mintel, 28 per cent of people say the ability to track their progress would make them join or attend a health club more often.

Major technology companies such as Google and Apple have pushed their own fitness apps and wearable technology to track exercise and performance. Apple continues to expand the range of gym equipment its apps and devices can sync with.

As health and fitness clubs replace and upgrade equipment, there must be a focus on technology allowing users to easily sync with their fitness apps. Otherwise, gyms risk losing members to home workout subscription services such as Peloton Digital, where data is being utilised to motivate consumers.

There’s scope within brand apps to offer more workout plans, personalised routines and progress tracking. If apps are designed to sync with the club’s equipment, members will be able to see all their progress and receive feedback and recommendations. This provides opportunities for new tiers of membership, with paid sections of the app for more personalisation and interaction with personal trainers. There’s also the chance to reward members for progress.

7. Build communities

There’s an element of community and socialising missing from the majority of home workout options, fitness apps and online personal training programmes.

People are keen to visit health and fitness clubs with someone, so offering joint memberships to friends and housemates encourages this. With many new locations opening and many using a franchising model, there’s a chance to build more of a presence in local communities, by becoming involved with local organisations and ultimately boosting membership and retention.

ATTITUDES TOWARDS HEALTH & FITNESS CLUB CLASSES
Use of gyms/leisure centres in the past month

“How often have you done the following leisure activities in the past month? – Gone to a gym/leisure centre.”

Fifty-eight per cent of people say classes are the main reason they go to a health club / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK/HANAEKO_STUDIO
Fifty-eight per cent of people say classes are the main reason they go to a health club / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK/HANAEKO_STUDIO
Offering joint memberships 
to friends and housemates 
can boost retention / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK/FLAMINGO IMAGES
Offering joint memberships to friends and housemates can boost retention / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK/FLAMINGO IMAGES
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/942558_380360.jpg
The latest research from Mintel reveals that private health and fitness clubs had a record-breaking year in 2019...
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    features

    Research: Insights & issues

    New research from Mintel reveals private health and fitness clubs had a record breaking year in 2019. Mintel’s Lauren Ryan gives us the highlights

    Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 2
    Mintel says record numbers of people have health club memberships / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK/ONEINCHPUNCH
    Mintel says record numbers of people have health club memberships / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK/ONEINCHPUNCH

    According to new research from Mintel, the number of people in the UK with a private gym membership has risen by 15 per cent over the past five years – from 5.3 million in 2014 to 6.1 million in 2019.

    The UK Health And Fitness Clubs Market Report found increases over the past 12 months helped grow the total revenue registered by private health and fitness clubs to nearly £3.4bn during 2019 – an increase of 4.1 per cent on 2018.

    “The rise of lower-cost options and increased number of locations has made private gyms an accessible form of leisure, while a greater focus by consumers on healthier living and exercise is also providing a boost to the sector,” says Lauren Ryan, Mintel leisure analyst.

    “The convenience of more options close to work and home, with more flexible off-peak options available from the leading brands, has boosted demand, while competition has driven prices down.

    “However, while membership numbers will continue to increase, competition will drive down average fees and limit revenue growth over the next five years.”

    To get the report, go to HCMmag.com/mintel

    7 TIPS FOR MARKET GROWTH

    Mintel gives top tips for how to thrive in the fast growing fitness market

    PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK/ONEINCHPUNCH
    1. Compete for the best PTs

    With many personal trainers paying rent to train clients in the gym, it can be difficult to keep hold of the best talent. According to Mintel, the importance of PTs themselves is confirmed by the 75 per cent of people who say the instructors play a key role in how much they like a club. Offering more fixed-term salaries or even profit share or equity options could motivate the highest-quality trainers to stay with the club.

    2. Offer great classes

    Varied classes and friendly, passionate instructors are vital for boosting attendance in gyms. Mintel found that classes are a key reason for many people using health and fitness clubs, with 58 per cent saying they’re the main reason they attend.

    The rising competition from other fitness options is also placing increased pressure on delivering quality classes.

    Best practice in this area includes timetabling class options clearly and avoiding cancelling classes and offering a wide variety of classes for all levels of fitness and friendly instructors who can build a rapport with members.

    3. Be inclusive

    Some people are put off joining a gym due to perceiving their fitness levels to be too low, or concern over their appearance. It’s vital that gyms show there are classes for everyone, from the more sociable, fun fitness classes to the more intensive workouts aimed at those people who have been attending the gym, or working out, for some time.

    People are likely to be put off if they’re struggling to keep up with a class or routine. Providing a scale, which shows the experience and fitness levels that are required to undertake certain types of exercises, can help members to gauge the most appropriate classes for them, which in turn will keep them motivated.

    4. Remember mental health matters too

    As highlighted by the Mintel Trend report, Total Wellbeing, more people are looking to treat their body as an ecosystem. This means there are opportunities for health and fitness clubs to expand their range of classes to include an emphasis on mental health.

    This might include more focus on yoga and meditation, or guided mindfulness to compete with popular apps such as Headspace and Calm. The Mintel report found that if clubs can offer a wider range of options to allow members to focus on all aspects of their health, including mind: body, people will attend more regularly and be far less likely to cancel memberships.

    5. Give feedback

    Too often people have been left to their own devices in health and fitness clubs, with little interaction after induction and brief tours of facilities. With low-cost gyms dominating the market, this has happened more, with many locations operating 24 hours a day and often having few staff or instructors present.

    However, to boost membership and attendance, and counter the threat from online and app-based workouts, health and fitness clubs must focus on performance monitoring and feedback. There’s a clear demand for this, as 72 per cent of people would prefer health and fitness clubs to keep them updated on their progress.

    6. Enable tracking

    According to Mintel, 28 per cent of people say the ability to track their progress would make them join or attend a health club more often.

    Major technology companies such as Google and Apple have pushed their own fitness apps and wearable technology to track exercise and performance. Apple continues to expand the range of gym equipment its apps and devices can sync with.

    As health and fitness clubs replace and upgrade equipment, there must be a focus on technology allowing users to easily sync with their fitness apps. Otherwise, gyms risk losing members to home workout subscription services such as Peloton Digital, where data is being utilised to motivate consumers.

    There’s scope within brand apps to offer more workout plans, personalised routines and progress tracking. If apps are designed to sync with the club’s equipment, members will be able to see all their progress and receive feedback and recommendations. This provides opportunities for new tiers of membership, with paid sections of the app for more personalisation and interaction with personal trainers. There’s also the chance to reward members for progress.

    7. Build communities

    There’s an element of community and socialising missing from the majority of home workout options, fitness apps and online personal training programmes.

    People are keen to visit health and fitness clubs with someone, so offering joint memberships to friends and housemates encourages this. With many new locations opening and many using a franchising model, there’s a chance to build more of a presence in local communities, by becoming involved with local organisations and ultimately boosting membership and retention.

    ATTITUDES TOWARDS HEALTH & FITNESS CLUB CLASSES
    Use of gyms/leisure centres in the past month

    “How often have you done the following leisure activities in the past month? – Gone to a gym/leisure centre.”

    Fifty-eight per cent of people say classes are the main reason they go to a health club / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK/HANAEKO_STUDIO
    Fifty-eight per cent of people say classes are the main reason they go to a health club / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK/HANAEKO_STUDIO
    Offering joint memberships 
to friends and housemates 
can boost retention / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK/FLAMINGO IMAGES
    Offering joint memberships to friends and housemates can boost retention / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK/FLAMINGO IMAGES
    http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/942558_380360.jpg
    The latest research from Mintel reveals that private health and fitness clubs had a record-breaking year in 2019...
    Lauren Ryan, Mintel,private health and fitness, Mintel, fitness research
    Latest News
    David Lloyd Leisure (DLL) has reopened 50 of its clubs for socially distanced outdoor exercise. ...
    Latest News
    The Beau Sejour leisure centre on the island of Guernsey has become the first public ...
    Latest News
    Mike Lamb CEO, Asia of Jetts 24 Hour Fitness, which has clubs in south-east Asia, ...
    Latest News
    The varying approaches taken by the UK's four home nations to reopening businesses is creating ...
    Latest News
    DataHub has launched a contact tracking app, specifically designed for the fitness and physical activity ...
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    ukactive has questioned the government's decision to make all employers start paying towards the wages ...
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    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: Incorpore and MoveGB ink groundbreaking partnership to transform corporate wellness offering
    Incorpore and MoveGB have entered into a landmark partnership, combining the UK’s largest provider of corporate gym memberships with the nation’s biggest network of classes.
    Featured supplier news
    Featured supplier: myFitApp launches branded live-streaming as part of its COVID-19 support package
    Innovatise, the company behind myFitApp, has announced the immediate availability of its customer- branded live-streaming solution.
    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: Safe Space Lockers
      Safe Space have over 25 years of experience in the UK leisure and fitness industry, ...
      Company profiles
      Company profile: Technogym
      Founded in 1983, Technogym is a world-leading international supplier of technology and design-driven products and ...
      Catalogue Gallery
      Click on a catalogue to view it online
      Directory
      Lockers/interior design
      Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
      Locking solutions
      Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
      Spa software
      SpaBooker: Spa software
      Direct debit solutions
      Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
      Management software
      Fisikal: Management software
      Wearable technology solutions
      MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
      Design consultants
      Zynk Design Consultants: Design consultants
      Exercise equipment
      Star Trac / Core Health & Fitness: Exercise equipment
      Independent service & maintenance
      Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
      Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
      Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
      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
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