Untitled Document
24 Nov 2017 Health Club Management Handbook
 

HOME
VIEW DIGITAL EDITION
CONTENTS
PROFILES
BUY HANDBOOK
JOBS
NEWS
BLOG
PRODUCTS
ADVERTISE
CONTACT US
Sign up for FREE ezine
Current issue
Health Club Handbook
Current issue

View this issue online
Buy print edition
Download PDF

Previous issues
Health club Handbook
2016 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Health club Handbook
2015 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Health club Handbook
2014 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Health club Handbook
2013 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Download PDF
Health club Handbook
2012 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Health club Handbook
2011 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Health club Handbook
2010 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Health club Handbook
2009 issue

View issue contents
View this issue online
Health Club Management Handbook - 300% growth?

Industry insights

From Health Club Handbook 2017 issue 1
300% growth?


What might the coming years bring for the fitness and physical activity sector? We ask our panel of experts



Bryan O’Rourke CEO Fitness Industry Technology Council

 

Bryan O’Rourke
 

We believe the fitness market will reach one billion users by 2025.

We’re currently undertaking research into the size and shape of the health and fitness market around the world – and that’s no small task, because what we’re measuring is constantly changing as technological developments continue at pace.

However, at this stage in the research we’re fairly confident in saying there are currently 360 million digital fitness users around the world – whether devices, apps or both. We define users not just as people who’ve bought a device or downloaded an app, as many people stop after a few months, but who use the technology at least once a week to help them with their fitness.

Meanwhile, IHRSA estimates the global health club market to service 155 million members. We think that figure is a bit low: there are over 12,000 CrossFit locations globally, plus yoga studios and so on.

Of these members, ACE research suggests one in five also use digital fitness technology – although that percentage is likely to increase. In terms of digital adoption, all population groups will see growth – it’s just a case of when and how, which will depend above all on disposable household income. You can’t assume adoption rates based on demographics any more: almost 40 per cent of wearables are owned by 35- to 54-year-olds. The early adopters might be younger, but this then matriculates through the population. And with a little over two billion smartphones out there, of which 32 per cent have some sort of health and fitness app on them, the growth potential is huge.

NEW EXPERIENCES
When you look at this picture, it’s clear it isn’t just about gyms any more. It’s about customers having their health and fitness needs serviced, with market growth driven by the evolution of fitness offerings to meet these needs. Digital is going to grow the market by helping people experience fitness in a different way.

As a result, traditional bricks and mortar will diminish as a percentage of delivery, although clubs will retain a role; Amazon and the online retailers still account for only around 12 per cent of total sales. The brands that do survive and thrive in the fitness sector will be the hybrids that integrate physical and digital delivery, and even more importantly that create a true customer experience – brands like Barry’s Bootcamp and SoulCycle. Aesthetics and facility design will be more important than ever.

A combination of factors will lead to further growth. Fitness as lifestyle (as a status symbol) will be a key driver, while artificial intelligence will broaden the appeal of fitness devices by morphing them into virtual coaches. Digital will also enable a variety of apps, wearables, hybrid models and medically integrated platforms to serve many more people more effectively, while ‘private pay’ integrated wellness will see huge growth. Finally, mindfulness will become a trillion dollar industry in the next few years.


"You can’t assume adoption rates based on demographics any more: almost 40 per cent of wearables are owned by 35- to 54-year-olds "



David Minton Director The Leisure Database Company

 

David Minton
 

It’s currently the most exciting time to be in the industry in terms of innovation, growth and potential. Three hundred per cent growth is definitely possible: the industry needs to think big. Globally we should be aiming for half a billion members.

Penetration rates are very low in the global fitness industry at present – still in the low single figures in lots of countries – so the potential is enormous, especially in Asia and the developing world. However, there’s still huge potential in the UK, which has grown by two million members since 2007 to achieve 14.3 per cent penetration.

Two factors will drive future growth: education and experience. Operators need to focus on improving both. Following the lead of the hotel industry, they need to keep investing in the product and innovating.

They also need to get better at using data to connect with current and potential members. Although we’re definitely seeing improvements, historically the fitness industry has been rather poor at finding out how often members visit, what they do and how much they spend.

Change will happen across all ages and demographics. However, I certainly don’t see a huge growth coming from the healthcare sector in the UK at the moment – to engage with the National Health Service, the health and fitness industry will need to become far more professional, start talking the same language and take part in clinical trials.


 


Photo: shutterstock.com

Digital will create huge growth in the market by helping people experience fitness in new ways


Steven Ward Executive director ukactive

 

Steven Ward
 

With the mega trends impacting the industry, I think we’re well on course for a 300 per cent growth globally in the next decade.

Health and fitness has never been so centre of attention: we’re seeing a boom in health-conscious consumers; the world’s biggest brands like Google and Apple are embedding physical activity in their product development; and fashion and fitness are fusing like never before.

All demographics will contribute to this growth: there’s a cast iron case for health and fitness from cradle to grave. Children are growing up in an age where physical activity is an aspirational, normalised part of youth culture; while in an ageing society, more people are looking at how they can stay healthy in later life.

In developing nations there’s huge growth potential. In mature markets like the UK it will come through programmes, services and products to support the 13 million inactive people to be active.

In the future, we’ll see a technology-enabled, personalised service that delivers enjoyment and progress whatever path the individual is on. Fitness businesses will have to inhabit many different environments – portable, physical and digital – to meet the needs of each and every individual.

Going forward, health and fitness operators need to carry on listening to the consumer, tailoring products and enhancing their services through technology. They mustn’t stop their efforts to raise the bar in terms of the quality of either services or facilities.


 


Photo: shutterstock.com

In our ageing society, older generations are looking at how they can stay healthy in later life

Originally published in Health Club Handbook magazine 2017 issue 1

Published by The Leisure Media Company, Portmill House, Portmill Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1DJ. Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | Advertise | © Cybertrek Ltd