11 Dec 2018 Health Club Management Handbook
 

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Health Club Management Handbook - Editor’s welcome

Editor’s letter

Editor’s welcome


Welcome to the Health Club Management Handbook 2O18

We’re fast becoming a nation of gym-goers, with memberships hitting the 9.7 million mark. Now that one in seven of us is a gym-member, with 6,500 health and fitness clubs on offer, we’ve hit an all-time high penetration rate of 14.9 per cent – and there’s still room for growth.

Although expansion of the low cost sector has been fast and furious – with no signs of abating – the surge in gym memberships driven by low monthly fees and an absence of long-term contracts could hit a saturation point. To counter this, many budget operators have already upped their game to maintain differentiation beyond a cheap price point. Some are offering optional membership schemes, outdoor fitness and boot camps while others are simply doing away with membership fees altogether and acquiring revenue from alternate methods, like staging industry events and showcasing fitness products on the gym floor.

Specialised boutique concepts have also been instrumental in growing and broadening the market with their personalised approach to the fitness sector. While they continue to expand full steam ahead with the patronage of trendsetting Millennials, urbanites and tribes, it’s exciting to see many boutique operators embracing more multiple studio concepts under the same roof, offering fans a complete one-stop-shop for all their workouts.

New technology and innovation is also feeding into the sector at all levels, like never before. Live timetables and online class bookings are showing good levels of adoption, with ever-more sophisticated social media platforms and apps being adopted by tech-savvy consumers from all generations.

Wearable tracking devices are gaining popularity, enabling data to be instantaneously collected from inside the gym walls and from activities out-of-doors. By sharing this data, it’s good to see bespoke workouts being created. Integrating virtual and augmented reality into gym and home workouts is also enticing new members, while minimising the monotony of training for some and opening up ever-more immersive options for all.

Helen Patenall, editor

Health Club Management Handbook

helenpatenall@leisuremedia.com


Originally published in Health Club Handbook 2018 issue 1

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