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Core Health & Fitness
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
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
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/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
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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.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
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
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/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
Chancellor Rishi Sunak's proposals to support the economy through the next six months of the ...
Latest News
The UK government's 'Rule of Six' has come into force in physical activity facilities today ...
Latest News
The UK's physical activity sector has come together to get millions of people active during ...
Latest News
A study by Rutgers University has suggested that it could be possible to predict which ...
Latest News
Health club and gyms operators in California are suing state governor Gavin Newsom in an ...
Latest News
The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) has announced the appointment of C. Victor Brick, CEO of ...
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More than 100 sport and physical activity bodies have sent a letter to UK Prime ...
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Opinion
promotion
The pandemic has thrown a new focus on health, with sales of body composition analysis equipment at an all-time high, as InBody’s Francesca Cooper explains.
Opinion: Gyms add body composition analysis and health screening to their offering following pandemic
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Xn Leisure advises on virtual memberships and how operators can move memberships online
According to software solutions provider, Xn Leisure, the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has made it more important than ever to pull out all the stops to keep members active and engaged and your profits healthy.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Myzone kicks off #WorkOutToHelpOut campaign
In response to the UK government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme, Myzone has launched the Work Out To Help Out campaign.
Video Gallery
A new Zone is here
MyZone Group Ltd
A new zone is here for your club, for your members and for you. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Wattbike
Wattbike is the creator of the world’s most advanced and innovative indoor bikes, developed in ...
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
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Design consultants
Zynk Design Consultants: Design consultants
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Software
Volution.fit: Software
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Exercise equipment
EXF Fitness Equipment: Exercise equipment
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Property & Tenders
11 - 25 Union St, London SE1 1SD
Bankside Open Spaces Trust
Property & Tenders
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
07 Oct 2020
Online, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
03-06 Nov 2020
Online,
Diary dates
17 Nov 2020
Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
02-04 Feb 2021
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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