Monday, 18 January 2016

How are fitness brands repositioning due to rising competition?

We’re often asked what’s happening in the fitness industry, for advice and recommendations outside of the relatively narrow field of member retention. The best way is to attend all the fitness networking events that you can, read print publications such as Health Club Management, Workout, FitPro, and keep an eye on any relevant blogs and online sources. But if you want a concentrated fix of the state of the market right now, check out Ray Algar’s latest report on the Health Club Industry Mid-Market.

A key takeaway is the ‘salami slicers’ that are (perhaps unwittingly) nibbling at the offerings of mid-market clubs. Whether we’re talking boutique clubs, cycling studios, Zumba in church halls, park run, apps or budget clubs, all are eating into the membership base of regular clubs, and the compound effect can be significant.

Supported or Self-Service?

We also really like the detail on the bifurcating market since the emergence of the low cost club. Many people (Ray included) have tried to define the budget gym as being 24 hour, low (or no) staff, no contract, simplified, but the difference is very clearly defined by Ray in this report as being between Supported or Self-service. It is not about price (as we tell some clients every month), but about what you are offering. Are you supporting your members, or can they self-serve their fitness in your facility?

Other highlights include :

  • The Gold’s Gym (Bothell USA) story of discounting only to u-turn 1 year later. A bold move, and a very good lesson to be learnt. 
  • Niels Gronau of Edelhelfer, Germany talking about the difference between focusing on hardware (kit, facility) and software (members, interactions). Hint: we should optimise software.
  • Plus stories from Active4Less, GymBox and Fitness First.

Download your copy of Ray’s latest report for free from the Oxygen Consulting website, and share it with your colleagues.

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