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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

Sophie Lawler reveals Total Fitness is working on a new health club model

The middle market is making a strong return in a post-lockdown UK fitness market
Total Fitness CEO, Sophie Lawler, said the company had already seen changes in its membership profiles
39 per cent of Total Fitness new joiners were previously non-gym members
Lawler revealed that the operator was now looking to develop an entirely new club model

Total Fitness plans to launch a new-style health club model, with plans already in the development stages, according to Total Fitness CEO, Sophie Lawler.

Speaking exclusively to HCM, Lawler said the operator – which has 15 clubs in the North of England and Wales – is currently refining the concept: "Over the next 12 months, we will be nailing down and bringing to life a new, conceptual model," she revealed.

"It will be the basis of our future clubs, which I can see us starting to open in a couple of years.

"These won’t be a replica of our huge Total Fitness clubs – they'll be smaller facilities and very different from what we have now – but they will clearly be Total Fitness clubs thanks to the purpose, intent and fitness philosophy that will be integral to any new models we bring through.

"This is our conceptual challenge right now: how we make a very different club be authentically Total Fitness."

Lawler also hints that Total Fitness will also be shifting geographies and targeting locations in the south of England.

"In terms of where those clubs might be, I’m a huge believer in northern markets, and a huge believer in the middle market, and there’s a lot of white space here," she said.

"But we’ll also be looking to the south because we’re under-represented there and I believe we have a responsibility to serve that middle-market segment."

There will also be new workout products.

"We’ll be launching our signature small group workout product by the end of this year, which we’re calling Squad Sessions, or ‘Squads’ for short," Lawler said.

"We’re working with our member focus groups to refine this product as we speak, and we’re really proud of the work that’s been done on the launch – it’s perfect for those who crave social or connected workouts, with four people per session working out with one of our trainers.

"Initially we’ll be offering a mix of cardio and resistance to give a full-body workout and we expect people to either book with their mates or join an open squad.

"The product will be developed over the next year or so and ultimately we may even experiment with variable pricing. It will be priced to ensure member value, though, with introductory prices up to £10 per session."

Lawler said the middle market is making a strong return in a post-lockdown fitness market and that the company is also seeing a shift in its customer base.

"Our new members are different from what we’ve seen before: 39 per cent were previously non-gym members, and 44 per cent are switchers," Lawler told HCM.

"A significant number of these (48 per cent) have traded up from lower-cost services, such as budget gyms.

"Among those new to fitness, far more of them have come from lower-income groups than has been the case at Total Fitness historically.

"And they’re younger too: 37 per cent are aged under 34, where normally this age group accounts for 15–20 per cent of our joiners."

For Lawler this means one thing – the middle market is returning.

"I’ve always been a massive advocate of the middle market – of a reasonably priced, full-service offering – and that seems to be coming through now," she said.

"New audiences are seemingly prepared to pay a middle-market premium because they desire variety and, importantly, space. In fact, we’ve been doing some research among new joiners and the key driver for joining – and I’m talking across the board – is variety and quality, where historically it’s always been convenience and price.

"This is a monumental shift from what I’ve seen in the industry for the last 20 years and, if it proves to be permanent, is a real wake-up call."

• To read the full interview with Lawler, in which she also discusses Total Fitness going through a CVA earlier this year, click here for HCM Issue 10/2021

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
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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
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01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

News

Sophie Lawler reveals Total Fitness is working on a new health club model

The middle market is making a strong return in a post-lockdown UK fitness market
Total Fitness CEO, Sophie Lawler, said the company had already seen changes in its membership profiles
39 per cent of Total Fitness new joiners were previously non-gym members
Lawler revealed that the operator was now looking to develop an entirely new club model

Total Fitness plans to launch a new-style health club model, with plans already in the development stages, according to Total Fitness CEO, Sophie Lawler.

Speaking exclusively to HCM, Lawler said the operator – which has 15 clubs in the North of England and Wales – is currently refining the concept: "Over the next 12 months, we will be nailing down and bringing to life a new, conceptual model," she revealed.

"It will be the basis of our future clubs, which I can see us starting to open in a couple of years.

"These won’t be a replica of our huge Total Fitness clubs – they'll be smaller facilities and very different from what we have now – but they will clearly be Total Fitness clubs thanks to the purpose, intent and fitness philosophy that will be integral to any new models we bring through.

"This is our conceptual challenge right now: how we make a very different club be authentically Total Fitness."

Lawler also hints that Total Fitness will also be shifting geographies and targeting locations in the south of England.

"In terms of where those clubs might be, I’m a huge believer in northern markets, and a huge believer in the middle market, and there’s a lot of white space here," she said.

"But we’ll also be looking to the south because we’re under-represented there and I believe we have a responsibility to serve that middle-market segment."

There will also be new workout products.

"We’ll be launching our signature small group workout product by the end of this year, which we’re calling Squad Sessions, or ‘Squads’ for short," Lawler said.

"We’re working with our member focus groups to refine this product as we speak, and we’re really proud of the work that’s been done on the launch – it’s perfect for those who crave social or connected workouts, with four people per session working out with one of our trainers.

"Initially we’ll be offering a mix of cardio and resistance to give a full-body workout and we expect people to either book with their mates or join an open squad.

"The product will be developed over the next year or so and ultimately we may even experiment with variable pricing. It will be priced to ensure member value, though, with introductory prices up to £10 per session."

Lawler said the middle market is making a strong return in a post-lockdown fitness market and that the company is also seeing a shift in its customer base.

"Our new members are different from what we’ve seen before: 39 per cent were previously non-gym members, and 44 per cent are switchers," Lawler told HCM.

"A significant number of these (48 per cent) have traded up from lower-cost services, such as budget gyms.

"Among those new to fitness, far more of them have come from lower-income groups than has been the case at Total Fitness historically.

"And they’re younger too: 37 per cent are aged under 34, where normally this age group accounts for 15–20 per cent of our joiners."

For Lawler this means one thing – the middle market is returning.

"I’ve always been a massive advocate of the middle market – of a reasonably priced, full-service offering – and that seems to be coming through now," she said.

"New audiences are seemingly prepared to pay a middle-market premium because they desire variety and, importantly, space. In fact, we’ve been doing some research among new joiners and the key driver for joining – and I’m talking across the board – is variety and quality, where historically it’s always been convenience and price.

"This is a monumental shift from what I’ve seen in the industry for the last 20 years and, if it proves to be permanent, is a real wake-up call."

• To read the full interview with Lawler, in which she also discusses Total Fitness going through a CVA earlier this year, click here for HCM Issue 10/2021

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Related news

Total Fitness enters into a CVA, but says 'majority of clubs' will reopen on 12 April

26 Mar 2021
Total Fitness is entering into a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), after being hit hard by ...

New management team credited with "reversal of membership decline" at Total Fitness

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HCM Magazine
Promotion
A new app called Trakk, from Pulse Fitness, promises triple benefits to operators, says Chris Johnson
HCM Magazine
Editor's letter
This has always been a creative, driven sector, but the pressures of the pandemic have inspired a new outpouring of creativity, leading to the emergence of new models, partnerships and concepts
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Life Fitness is introducing a new range of Hammer Strength anaerobic equipment to complement its legendary strength training range
HCM Magazine
HCM People
It makes services and tech more accessible and affordable for wellness professionals
HCM Magazine
Debate
Can partnerships and affiliations with less obvious companies, such as fast food brands, help the industry tap into a new demographic, or is the potential for them to compromise our reputation too big a risk to take? asks Abi Harris
HCM Magazine
Interview
Urban Gym Group sees health, fitness and wellness converging and is ready to seize these opportunities. Its co-CEOs tell to Kate Cracknell, ‘if we can’t build it, we’ll buy it’
HCM Magazine
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IONTO-COMED offers a wide range of treatment beds offering maximum flexibility and the symbiosis of ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Quoox
With more than 200 integrated features, Quoox is confident there is a solution for every ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Salt therapy products
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Exercise equipment
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Skincare
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Red Light Therapy
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Spa software
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Fitness equipment
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Wearable technology solutions
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Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
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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