GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of HCM magazine and also get the HCM ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
JP Lennard
JP Lennard
JP Lennard
Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

US gym market: research finds two-thirds plan to return, but Millennials and Gen Z may be hit by financial constraints

Nearly two-thirds of gym and health club members in the US (65 per cent) are planning on returning to their club once lockdown measures allow, according to a new study out today (15 June 2020).

The What members say matters when it comes to getting them back report from ClubIntel also shows that around a fifth (19 per cent) of members are undecided, while 16 per cent say they're 'unlikely' or 'very unlikely' to return.

The wide-ranging study, which surveyed 2,000 adult gym members in the US, explores the behaviours and experiences of fitness consumers at different age stages, examining sentiments pre-COVID-19, during lockdown and finally, their feelings about returning once clubs reopen.

In terms of the pace of return, third (34 per cent) indicated they intend to return within the first week, while another third 34 (per cent) said they would return between weeks one and four of reopening.

A quarter (25 per cent) said they'd wait for one to three months after reopening.

"What this tells us is that membership ramp up will not be immediate," Club Intel's Steve Tharrett told HCM. "Instead, it will be progressive.

"We estimate that facilities can expect 20 to 25 per cent of their members back in the first week, another 20 to 25 per cent back by week four and by the third month see membership levels at 60 to 80 per cent of their pre-closure levels."

Men are more slightly likely to return than women, with 42 per cent of men saying they'd be "very likely" to return, compared to 33 per cent of women.

When looking at age, researchers found generational concerns, with Baby Boomers most likely to return – and return faster – and Millennials and Gen Z more hesitant – 74 per cent of Baby Boomers and those older said they are very likely/fairly likely to return compared to 59 per cent of Gen Z and 61 per cent of Millennials.

"While it’s encouraging that the older generations are more enthusiastic about returning, it sounds an alarm bell when it comes to the hesitancy of Millennials and Gen Z," says Tharrett. "Millennials comprise the largest generational segment of the industry are its bread and butter and Gen Z is the industry’s future.

"The greatest challenge may be facing fitness studio owners (boutiques), as their membership base is predominantly comprised of Millennial and Gen Z, not to mention being predominately female."

Commenting on this finding, Phillip Mills, founder and executive director at Les Mills International and sponsor of the report, said: "There's a major risk identified here of losing our crucial 18-39-year-old market. Whether this is driven by fear of infection or – as I suspect – more by financial insecurity, the way to retain them is to provide such value that they will prioritise us, as they have during previous recessions.

"Having witnessed our industry’s response to five past economic crises, I'm sure we will again rise to the challenge."

OTHER INDICATORS

Researchers found that member usage prior to closure is a powerful predictor in relation to the likelihood of members returning.

More than half (52 per cent) who visited their facility on average 12 times or more a month indicated they were very likely to return, compared to around a third (37 per cent) of those who use their facility 8 to 12 times a month and 22 per cent who use it once or fewer times.

Mills said: "Frequency of attendance is a seminal metric for our industry that's powerfully associated with customer retention and delight.

"We are in the motivation business as much as that of exercise prescription and need constantly to find ways to inspire."

ACTION POINTSWhen it comes to the actions that facilities can take to encourage members to return, the top 10 things members would like to see include disinfecting equipment after each use, members having immediate access to hand sanitising stations and facilities enforcing limits on the number of members allowed in the building and also in group exercise classes.

The report also provides six recommendations for facility operators to consider, as the sector emerges from lockdown.

These include a call to "think and plan differently" for the next 12 months, as the data points to a 'new era' for the industry – framed by lower membership numbers, slower ramp-up periods, and more scrutinised business practices.

According to the study's authors, authenticity and transparency will also take centre stage during the reopening phase. The survey showed that members want operators to be honest about what's happening with respect to the virus and their facility – and that it's important to hold staff and members accountable when it comes to reinforcing policies, even if that requires taking a stand.

There's also a call to take into consideration the effects of the fitness industry having pivoted to digital during the lockdown and operators seeking relevance among the Gen Z and Millennial generations will need to commit to providing virtual fitness content.

"If your business model is designed to attract these two generations, be prepared to integrate virtual fitness into your value proposition permanently," said Tharrett.

METHODLOGY

For the study, ClubIntel and its research panel partner Dynata (formerly Research Now) surveyed 2,000 fitness facility members over the age of 18 from 20 major US Metropolitan statistical areas distributed across each of the US Census Regions – including Boston, New York, Atlanta, Orlando, Houston and Seattle.

Participant responses were monitored on a regular basis throughout the survey period from 11 May to 17 May 2020. The study was administered by Dynata and managed by ClubIntel and Dynata and sponsored by Les Mills and Life Fitness.

You can download the report free of charge here.

Two thirds (65 per cent) of gym and health club members in the US are planning on returning to their facility once lockdown measures allow it, according to a new study.
PTS,HAF,FIT,IND,RES
2020/THUMB345677_860896_310300.jpg
Latest News
A young girl has died following an incident at the David Lloyd gym at Capability ...
Latest News
New fitness franchise, Circuit Society, has signed its first London location in Bayswater. The 3,000sq ...
Latest News
Active Nottingham, part of Nottingham City Council, has released a children’s book called Can We ...
Latest News
The new £42m Moorways Sports Village will open its doors to the public on Saturday ...
Latest News
Fitness industry veteran Harm Tegelaars has returned to the fitness industry by joining the board ...
Latest News
Planet Fitness saw its Q1 2022 revenue increase by 66.9 per cent (to US$186.7m) on ...
Latest News
Sport England and UK Active have signed a five-year partnership agreement which will see the ...
Latest News
Planet Fitness is offering high-school students free access to any of its 2,200 locations in ...
HCM Magazine
Insight
We adapted the methodology to understand the volume of group exercise class attendees to mitigate fears that classes presented a higher risk environment
HCM Magazine
Research
Bryce Hastings, head of research at Les Mills, explains the latest research into exercise motivation, giving tips on how to engage hard-to-reach members
HCM Magazine
HCM People
We want Grndhouse to be everywhere: in gyms, hotels, on holidays, at home – it’s boutique fitness in your hand
HCM Magazine
Write to reply
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Yate Leisure is one of the largest sites in Circadian Trust’s portfolio, with around 4,000 members. Ben Beasley, director of commercial development, explains why they were an early adopter of Technogym Biocircuit, and how the offer has evolved
HCM Magazine
Supplier showcase
Pulse Fitness and Bolsover District Council have been collaborating for many years to deliver dedicated community activity spaces
HCM Magazine
Annual report
In April, Deloitte and Europe Active published the ninth edition of their yearly European Health and Fitness Market Report, as Karsten Hollasch explains
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
HCM People

Jon Wright

Founder and CEO, Feel Electric
We’ve set ourselves the initial goal of developing 100 Feel Electric sites, using a cluster model
HCM magazine
The Global Wellness Summit brought together public health and wellness experts in Boston recently. Jane Kitchen was there for HCM to see first-hand what this ‘New new era in health and wellness’ will look like for the sector
HCM magazine
Being physically active can heal damage caused by diabetes, enabling the activation of a natural system that grows new blood vessels, according to research in the US
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: UK health clubs hit by rising cost of energy
Health clubs across the UK are facing huge rises in business energy bills which are forcing difficult decisions.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Magicline celebrates UK market entry at Elevate
With a focus on globalisation, Magicline has officially launched its software in the UK. As Europe’s leading gym management software company, the company strives to provide the best tools for gym owners to be successful, win new members and elevate their businesses.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New partnership delivers swimming support to children with disabilities
A new partnership has been launched to provide inclusive swimming for children with mobility, visual and hearing disabilities.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Serco Leisure wins 10-year Mansfield contract
Following a competitive tendering process, Serco Leisure and its partner More Leisure Community Trust Limited (MLCT) have been awarded a 10-year contract by Mansfield District Council to operate three centres in the town, starting 1 May 2022.
Company profiles
Company profile: EGYM UK Ltd
EGYM empowers gym operators to deliver a workout experience that supports their members' lifelong fitness ...
Company profiles
Company profile: InBody UK
InBody provides products that are accurate, medically rated holding a CE mark and certified to ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
30-30 Jun 2022
The ICC, Birmingham, Birmingham , United Kingdom
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates

News

US gym market: research finds two-thirds plan to return, but Millennials and Gen Z may be hit by financial constraints

Nearly two-thirds of gym and health club members in the US (65 per cent) are planning on returning to their club once lockdown measures allow, according to a new study out today (15 June 2020).

The What members say matters when it comes to getting them back report from ClubIntel also shows that around a fifth (19 per cent) of members are undecided, while 16 per cent say they're 'unlikely' or 'very unlikely' to return.

The wide-ranging study, which surveyed 2,000 adult gym members in the US, explores the behaviours and experiences of fitness consumers at different age stages, examining sentiments pre-COVID-19, during lockdown and finally, their feelings about returning once clubs reopen.

In terms of the pace of return, third (34 per cent) indicated they intend to return within the first week, while another third 34 (per cent) said they would return between weeks one and four of reopening.

A quarter (25 per cent) said they'd wait for one to three months after reopening.

"What this tells us is that membership ramp up will not be immediate," Club Intel's Steve Tharrett told HCM. "Instead, it will be progressive.

"We estimate that facilities can expect 20 to 25 per cent of their members back in the first week, another 20 to 25 per cent back by week four and by the third month see membership levels at 60 to 80 per cent of their pre-closure levels."

Men are more slightly likely to return than women, with 42 per cent of men saying they'd be "very likely" to return, compared to 33 per cent of women.

When looking at age, researchers found generational concerns, with Baby Boomers most likely to return – and return faster – and Millennials and Gen Z more hesitant – 74 per cent of Baby Boomers and those older said they are very likely/fairly likely to return compared to 59 per cent of Gen Z and 61 per cent of Millennials.

"While it’s encouraging that the older generations are more enthusiastic about returning, it sounds an alarm bell when it comes to the hesitancy of Millennials and Gen Z," says Tharrett. "Millennials comprise the largest generational segment of the industry are its bread and butter and Gen Z is the industry’s future.

"The greatest challenge may be facing fitness studio owners (boutiques), as their membership base is predominantly comprised of Millennial and Gen Z, not to mention being predominately female."

Commenting on this finding, Phillip Mills, founder and executive director at Les Mills International and sponsor of the report, said: "There's a major risk identified here of losing our crucial 18-39-year-old market. Whether this is driven by fear of infection or – as I suspect – more by financial insecurity, the way to retain them is to provide such value that they will prioritise us, as they have during previous recessions.

"Having witnessed our industry’s response to five past economic crises, I'm sure we will again rise to the challenge."

OTHER INDICATORS

Researchers found that member usage prior to closure is a powerful predictor in relation to the likelihood of members returning.

More than half (52 per cent) who visited their facility on average 12 times or more a month indicated they were very likely to return, compared to around a third (37 per cent) of those who use their facility 8 to 12 times a month and 22 per cent who use it once or fewer times.

Mills said: "Frequency of attendance is a seminal metric for our industry that's powerfully associated with customer retention and delight.

"We are in the motivation business as much as that of exercise prescription and need constantly to find ways to inspire."

ACTION POINTSWhen it comes to the actions that facilities can take to encourage members to return, the top 10 things members would like to see include disinfecting equipment after each use, members having immediate access to hand sanitising stations and facilities enforcing limits on the number of members allowed in the building and also in group exercise classes.

The report also provides six recommendations for facility operators to consider, as the sector emerges from lockdown.

These include a call to "think and plan differently" for the next 12 months, as the data points to a 'new era' for the industry – framed by lower membership numbers, slower ramp-up periods, and more scrutinised business practices.

According to the study's authors, authenticity and transparency will also take centre stage during the reopening phase. The survey showed that members want operators to be honest about what's happening with respect to the virus and their facility – and that it's important to hold staff and members accountable when it comes to reinforcing policies, even if that requires taking a stand.

There's also a call to take into consideration the effects of the fitness industry having pivoted to digital during the lockdown and operators seeking relevance among the Gen Z and Millennial generations will need to commit to providing virtual fitness content.

"If your business model is designed to attract these two generations, be prepared to integrate virtual fitness into your value proposition permanently," said Tharrett.

METHODLOGY

For the study, ClubIntel and its research panel partner Dynata (formerly Research Now) surveyed 2,000 fitness facility members over the age of 18 from 20 major US Metropolitan statistical areas distributed across each of the US Census Regions – including Boston, New York, Atlanta, Orlando, Houston and Seattle.

Participant responses were monitored on a regular basis throughout the survey period from 11 May to 17 May 2020. The study was administered by Dynata and managed by ClubIntel and Dynata and sponsored by Les Mills and Life Fitness.

You can download the report free of charge here.

Two thirds (65 per cent) of gym and health club members in the US are planning on returning to their facility once lockdown measures allow it, according to a new study.
PTS,HAF,FIT,IND,RES
2020/THUMB345677_860896_310300.jpg

News

A young girl has died following an incident at the David Lloyd gym at Capability
New fitness franchise, Circuit Society, has signed its first London location in Bayswater. The 3,000sq
Active Nottingham, part of Nottingham City Council, has released a children’s book called Can We
The new £42m Moorways Sports Village will open its doors to the public on Saturday
Fitness industry veteran Harm Tegelaars has returned to the fitness industry by joining the board
Planet Fitness saw its Q1 2022 revenue increase by 66.9 per cent (to US$186.7m) on
Elevate
Elevate
Health clubs across the UK are facing huge rises in business energy bills which are
Sport England and UK Active have signed a five-year partnership agreement which will see the
Planet Fitness is offering high-school students free access to any of its 2,200 locations in
How can organisations, including health club and leisure businesses, decarbonise, generate clean energy and harness
Being physically active can counter the damage of diabetes by enabling the activation of a
Altis, an artificial intelligence-based personal trainer solution, has secured more than US$3m worth of financing,
Members of the United States Congress and Washington DC staff are competing against each other
ukactive
ukactive
With a focus on globalisation, Magicline has officially launched its software in the UK. As
1Rebel has acquired two Core Collective clubs as part of a pre-pack administration deal, along
Basic-Fit opened a record number of 72 clubs in the first quarter of 2022. Fifty-five
Deborah Szekely, philanthropist, social activist, teacher and entrepreneur, has been inducted into the Wellness Hall
Multi-brand fitness chain Urban Gym Group (UGG) has raised €16m in capital. The funds will
Those looking to have a dip in Berlin's famous heated outdoor pools this summer will
Global design practice Perkins & Will has unveiled plans for a net-zero operational carbon community
Les Mills
Les Mills
According to our poll, the first thing 80 per cent of operators and gym owners
Fitness tech firm Egym has acquired French corporate fitness and wellbeing business Gymlilb for what
Core Health & Fitness has acquired Digital fitness content provider, Wexer Holding, for an undisclosed
Fitness On Demand
Fitness On Demand
1 - 20 of 12,205
HCM Magazine
Insight
We adapted the methodology to understand the volume of group exercise class attendees to mitigate fears that classes presented a higher risk environment
HCM Magazine
Research
Bryce Hastings, head of research at Les Mills, explains the latest research into exercise motivation, giving tips on how to engage hard-to-reach members
HCM Magazine
HCM People
We want Grndhouse to be everywhere: in gyms, hotels, on holidays, at home – it’s boutique fitness in your hand
HCM Magazine
Write to reply
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Yate Leisure is one of the largest sites in Circadian Trust’s portfolio, with around 4,000 members. Ben Beasley, director of commercial development, explains why they were an early adopter of Technogym Biocircuit, and how the offer has evolved
HCM Magazine
Supplier showcase
Pulse Fitness and Bolsover District Council have been collaborating for many years to deliver dedicated community activity spaces
HCM Magazine
Annual report
In April, Deloitte and Europe Active published the ninth edition of their yearly European Health and Fitness Market Report, as Karsten Hollasch explains
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
HCM People

Jon Wright

Founder and CEO, Feel Electric
We’ve set ourselves the initial goal of developing 100 Feel Electric sites, using a cluster model
HCM magazine
The Global Wellness Summit brought together public health and wellness experts in Boston recently. Jane Kitchen was there for HCM to see first-hand what this ‘New new era in health and wellness’ will look like for the sector
HCM magazine
Being physically active can heal damage caused by diabetes, enabling the activation of a natural system that grows new blood vessels, according to research in the US
HCM magazine
Social media influencers cause harm by raising unrealistic expectations of physical perfection, as Andrea Dearden explains
HCM magazine
In the wake of the pandemic, is the time ripe to change the language around the role of exercise professionals, and gain greater trust from the healthcare sector?
HCM magazine
Each health club has its own unique challenges, but the right tech solution can make all the difference. In the first of a two-part series, specialists share how they’ve solved specific issues
HCM magazine
Operators must be clear in their messaging so people find their way to a club they stick with. Try not to be all things to all people, and we can be successful at keeping them engaged
HCM magazine
Having a portfolio of more than 1,000 health club locations is the aim of ambitious operators, with this elite category growing fast, creating new dynamics in the market
HCM magazine
As HCM passed its 300th edition milestone, readers shared their thoughts and feelings on HCM’s contribution to the industry in a very special postbag
HCM magazine
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: UK health clubs hit by rising cost of energy
Health clubs across the UK are facing huge rises in business energy bills which are forcing difficult decisions.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Magicline celebrates UK market entry at Elevate
With a focus on globalisation, Magicline has officially launched its software in the UK. As Europe’s leading gym management software company, the company strives to provide the best tools for gym owners to be successful, win new members and elevate their businesses.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New partnership delivers swimming support to children with disabilities
A new partnership has been launched to provide inclusive swimming for children with mobility, visual and hearing disabilities.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Serco Leisure wins 10-year Mansfield contract
Following a competitive tendering process, Serco Leisure and its partner More Leisure Community Trust Limited (MLCT) have been awarded a 10-year contract by Mansfield District Council to operate three centres in the town, starting 1 May 2022.
Company profiles
Company profile: EGYM UK Ltd
EGYM empowers gym operators to deliver a workout experience that supports their members' lifelong fitness ...
Company profiles
Company profile: InBody UK
InBody provides products that are accurate, medically rated holding a CE mark and certified to ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
30-30 Jun 2022
The ICC, Birmingham, Birmingham , United Kingdom
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
JP Lennard
JP Lennard
Partner sites