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FITNESS, HEALTH, WELLNESS

Latest news

Generic health clubs will wither away, warns Ray Algar

Mid-market gyms are in need of a radical overhaul of their traditional models if they are to avoid being squeezed into submission by all sides of the market.

That is the urgent warning from fitness analyst Ray Algar, whose new report issues a call-to-arms to mid-market operators, imploring them to stand-up and clearly define what they stand for. He says failure to innovate and attract new members into the health club sector will see mid-market clubs leak members to rivals offering cheaper, more premium, or more specialised services.

The Health club industry mid-market report builds on Algar’s previous work outlining how traditional mid-range clubs are having their business ‘salami-sliced’ away by specialised competitors. The 81-page report explores the plight of mid-range health clubs in three of the most mature fitness markets – the UK, Germany and the US – together with interviews and case studies of brands such as Anytime Fitness, Fitness First and Gymbox. There is also a more in-depth study of successes and pitfalls for the US-founded international Curves network.

In the report, Algar reiterates his view that the pathways of the gym industry are forking between self-service and supported propositions, best exemplified by the polarisation of minimally-staffed budget gyms and premium boutique clubs. As he said during this year’s LIW 2015 keynote address, mid-market operators must redefine the boundaries of their market and embrace innovation if they are to survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive sector.

"I do not believe there is a long term strategy in clubs, whether they be independents or chains, offering an array of generic fitness experiences,” said Algar.

“In a world awash with mediocre offerings, I believe that successful clubs will be those that commit to making their business remarkable in a chosen discipline that all their stakeholders can get truly passionate about.”

"And in my view, for most clubs, it means standing at a fork in the road and deciding what type of business we want to be: are we going down the "self-service" or "supported" route, as we can no longer do both.”

In offering far-reaching conclusions and recommendations for mid-market players, the report also highlights how members are becoming more promiscuous – due in part to a wider choice of services – meaning operators must figure out their place in this new market order.

The report, supported by Precor and REX Roundtables for Executives, is published today (11 December) and can be downloaded for free from Algar’s website by clicking here.

Mid-market gyms are in need of a radical overhaul of their traditional models if they are to avoid being squeezed into submission by all sides of the market.
HAF,FIT,IND,PHR,RES
766350_124552.jpg
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Generic health clubs will wither away, warns Ray Algar

Mid-market gyms are in need of a radical overhaul of their traditional models if they are to avoid being squeezed into submission by all sides of the market.

That is the urgent warning from fitness analyst Ray Algar, whose new report issues a call-to-arms to mid-market operators, imploring them to stand-up and clearly define what they stand for. He says failure to innovate and attract new members into the health club sector will see mid-market clubs leak members to rivals offering cheaper, more premium, or more specialised services.

The Health club industry mid-market report builds on Algar’s previous work outlining how traditional mid-range clubs are having their business ‘salami-sliced’ away by specialised competitors. The 81-page report explores the plight of mid-range health clubs in three of the most mature fitness markets – the UK, Germany and the US – together with interviews and case studies of brands such as Anytime Fitness, Fitness First and Gymbox. There is also a more in-depth study of successes and pitfalls for the US-founded international Curves network.

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"I do not believe there is a long term strategy in clubs, whether they be independents or chains, offering an array of generic fitness experiences,” said Algar.

“In a world awash with mediocre offerings, I believe that successful clubs will be those that commit to making their business remarkable in a chosen discipline that all their stakeholders can get truly passionate about.”

"And in my view, for most clubs, it means standing at a fork in the road and deciding what type of business we want to be: are we going down the "self-service" or "supported" route, as we can no longer do both.”

In offering far-reaching conclusions and recommendations for mid-market players, the report also highlights how members are becoming more promiscuous – due in part to a wider choice of services – meaning operators must figure out their place in this new market order.

The report, supported by Precor and REX Roundtables for Executives, is published today (11 December) and can be downloaded for free from Algar’s website by clicking here.

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766350_124552.jpg

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