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
FreeMotion Fitness
FreeMotion Fitness
FreeMotion Fitness
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.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
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
Location and cost are the top considerations for consumers when it comes to choosing a ...
Latest News
Increases in COVID-19 cases across Europe are forcing governments to introduce restrictions, which is having ...
Latest News
Exercise has been found to increase levels of endocannabinoids – cannabis-like substances produced by the ...
Latest News
People suffering from mild depression should be offered exercise, mindfulness, therapy or meditation before medication, ...
Latest News
Total Fitness plans to launch a new-style health club model, with plans already in the ...
Latest News
Fitness operator Crunch Fitness says it's continued its recovery from lockdowns, with membership levels across ...
Latest News
The City of Madrid could become one of the healthiest in the world if plans ...
Latest News
Luxury health club operator, Third Space, has opened the doors to its latest club in ...
HCM Magazine
Editor's letter
At the heart of this is creative thinking that seeks new partnerships and audiences and rewrites the rules
HCM Magazine
Promotion
A new app called Trakk, from Pulse Fitness, promises triple benefits to operators, says Chris Johnson
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Life Fitness is introducing a new range of Hammer Strength anaerobic equipment to complement its legendary strength training range
HCM Magazine
Interview
The CEO of Total Fitness has been in-post for just over three years – a true tale of two halves, with dramatic growth in the first half of her tenure, followed by a second half dominated by the pandemic and a CVA. She talks to Kate Cracknell
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Technogym’s Biocircuit offers a range of time-controlled and time-free circuits using the Biostrength line, with its Biodrive AI technology, delivering customised workouts
HCM Magazine
Operations
With their dark vibe, pumping music and kit that needs adjusting, indoor cycling classes can be intimidating to the uninitiated. Steph Eaves asks suppliers for their tips on how to encourage beginners into the cycling studio – and keep them coming back
HCM Magazine
Everyone’s talking about
Climate change, like COVID-19, presents challenges that won’t go away and demands both our immediate attention and collective efforts. Kath Hudson reports
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
HCM People

Harry Jameson and Oli Patrick

Co-founders, Future Practice
There’s still no ‘stress resilience’ profession. We believe fitness professionals can fill that gap
HCM magazine
We’re all about executing, even if we make mistakes. I’d rather get on and do than talk for ages. I’d rather try things and fail than miss out on a super idea
HCM magazine
Armah Sports has revealed the first B_fit health club – a smart club concept that’s gearing up for the Metaverse with AI, VR, Amazon Alexa and the Internet of Things, as Tom Walker reports
Opinion
promotion
FitnessOnDemand’s divisional vice president Uday Anumalachetty discusses what live fitness really means for clubs and their members today
Opinion: Why we need to reimagine what live fitness really means
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Founder of dynamic yoga platform launches cinematic wellbeing classes for luxury spas and hotels
Matt Miller, founder of leading yoga training platform Broga has announced the launch of Earth+Sky – a collection of cinematic virtual wellbeing classes filmed in breath-taking locations around the world.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Precor reaffirms itself in premium sector with introduction of two new cardio range colours
Fitness equipment manufacturer Precor has launched two sleek new colours for its cardio range; Black Pearl and Storm Grey.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active successfully reopens exercise referral scheme thanks to EXi partnership
Local authority leisure provider Everyone Active has reopened its essential exercise referral scheme, by joining forces with EXi, the NHS-approved exercise prescription app and data portal.
Video Gallery
Mindbody, Inc
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Sport Alliance GmbH
Company profiles
Company profile: Core Health & Fitness
Core Health & Fitness offers the commercial health and fitness club marketplace an unmatched portfolio ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Art of Cryo
Art of Cryo is a new division of a renowned family business with 30 years’ ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
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

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.

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

Location and cost are the top considerations for consumers when it comes to choosing a
Increases in COVID-19 cases across Europe are forcing governments to introduce restrictions, which is having
Exercise has been found to increase levels of endocannabinoids – cannabis-like substances produced by the
People suffering from mild depression should be offered exercise, mindfulness, therapy or meditation before medication,
Total Fitness plans to launch a new-style health club model, with plans already in the
Fitness operator Crunch Fitness says it's continued its recovery from lockdowns, with membership levels across
Innovatise UK Ltd
Innovatise UK Ltd
After winning a competitive tender process in 2019, Pulse Fitness was appointed by Telford &
The City of Madrid could become one of the healthiest in the world if plans
Luxury health club operator, Third Space, has opened the doors to its latest club in
A total of 22.7 million Brits – more than a third of the total population
Nuffield Health has reopened the historic Barbican health club in London, as part of ambitious
The PureGym app has been named the Health and Fitness App of the Year at
An initiative set up by the Rio Ferdinand Foundation in partnership with The Gym Group
FIBO Exhibition
FIBO Exhibition
Greenvale Leisure Centre in Northern Ireland last month revealed its brand new 800sq m gym
A "significant majority" of the UK's swimming teachers and aquatic professionals feel that swimming excludes
The ​​Inaugural IHRSA SMART Summit has kicked off in Munich, Germany, with a focus on
Life Fitness has appointed Paul Stoneham as its new CEO, replacing Chris Clawson and effective
David Lloyd Clubs has launched a new family-focused programme in response to the trend of
Polish corporate wellness platform Benefit Systems has taken over a majority stake in club operator
Eight of the top 20 private health club operators in the UK have grown their
Life Fitness (UK) Ltd
Life Fitness (UK) Ltd
Hammer Strength, the number one brand in performance strength training, is adding to its portfolio
Les Mills has launched a new solution to help fitness operators transform space in their
A new guide has been published to give health clubs, gyms and leisure centres in
The Retention Guru
The Retention Guru
1 - 20 of 12,088
HCM Magazine
Editor's letter
At the heart of this is creative thinking that seeks new partnerships and audiences and rewrites the rules
HCM Magazine
Promotion
A new app called Trakk, from Pulse Fitness, promises triple benefits to operators, says Chris Johnson
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Life Fitness is introducing a new range of Hammer Strength anaerobic equipment to complement its legendary strength training range
HCM Magazine
Interview
The CEO of Total Fitness has been in-post for just over three years – a true tale of two halves, with dramatic growth in the first half of her tenure, followed by a second half dominated by the pandemic and a CVA. She talks to Kate Cracknell
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Technogym’s Biocircuit offers a range of time-controlled and time-free circuits using the Biostrength line, with its Biodrive AI technology, delivering customised workouts
HCM Magazine
Operations
With their dark vibe, pumping music and kit that needs adjusting, indoor cycling classes can be intimidating to the uninitiated. Steph Eaves asks suppliers for their tips on how to encourage beginners into the cycling studio – and keep them coming back
HCM Magazine
Everyone’s talking about
Climate change, like COVID-19, presents challenges that won’t go away and demands both our immediate attention and collective efforts. Kath Hudson reports
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
HCM People

Harry Jameson and Oli Patrick

Co-founders, Future Practice
There’s still no ‘stress resilience’ profession. We believe fitness professionals can fill that gap
HCM magazine
We’re all about executing, even if we make mistakes. I’d rather get on and do than talk for ages. I’d rather try things and fail than miss out on a super idea
HCM magazine
Armah Sports has revealed the first B_fit health club – a smart club concept that’s gearing up for the Metaverse with AI, VR, Amazon Alexa and the Internet of Things, as Tom Walker reports
HCM magazine
A US study investigating consumer attitudes to gyms, health clubs and studios reveals a new focus on wellness, as well as opportunities for operators to grow their businesses
HCM magazine
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
NICE has done a U-turn on its controversial guidelines for treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, saying that physical activity or therapy should not now be routinely prescribed for patients
HCM magazine
Which messaging is most effective at inspiring people to get active and why? Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada set out to find out, as Tom Walker reports
HCM magazine
HCM People

Alan Leach

Chair of IHRSA and CEO, West Wood Clubs
IHRSA is now on a mission to bring the global industry together
HCM magazine
It makes services and tech more accessible and affordable for wellness professionals
HCM magazine
Opinion
promotion
FitnessOnDemand’s divisional vice president Uday Anumalachetty discusses what live fitness really means for clubs and their members today
Opinion: Why we need to reimagine what live fitness really means
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Founder of dynamic yoga platform launches cinematic wellbeing classes for luxury spas and hotels
Matt Miller, founder of leading yoga training platform Broga has announced the launch of Earth+Sky – a collection of cinematic virtual wellbeing classes filmed in breath-taking locations around the world.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Precor reaffirms itself in premium sector with introduction of two new cardio range colours
Fitness equipment manufacturer Precor has launched two sleek new colours for its cardio range; Black Pearl and Storm Grey.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active successfully reopens exercise referral scheme thanks to EXi partnership
Local authority leisure provider Everyone Active has reopened its essential exercise referral scheme, by joining forces with EXi, the NHS-approved exercise prescription app and data portal.
Video Gallery
Mindbody, Inc
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Sport Alliance GmbH
Company profiles
Company profile: Core Health & Fitness
Core Health & Fitness offers the commercial health and fitness club marketplace an unmatched portfolio ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Art of Cryo
Art of Cryo is a new division of a renowned family business with 30 years’ ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
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
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
FreeMotion Fitness
FreeMotion Fitness