The fitness and health club industry is continuing to grow at a fast pace, with the latest report from The Leisure Database Company stating that 1 in every 7 people in the UK is now a member of a gym. This growth means that UK gym memberships have been boosted by 5.1% to a grand total of 9.7 million, raising the total market value to an estimated £4.7 billion.
Premium clubs are included in the grand expansion, but with over 500 low-cost clubs accounting for 15% of the market value and an impressive 35% of membership in the private sector, it’s the budget gyms that are currently stealing the limelight.
What makes a low-cost club more appealing to the wider consumer fitness market?
While premium clubs offer excellent facilities and a luxury feel, high fees and long contract commitments are simply not justifiable for many who are simply looking to take the first step in embarking on a healthier lifestyle. The small membership fee offered by low-cost clubs is ultimately more valuable as it can entice those who are completely new to the gym scene.
In addition, many budget gyms have upped their game in providing spacious and stylish workout spaces, complete with an array of equipment, facilities and classes – all for a more-than-affordable price - making it also an intriguing alternative for existing gym-goers who are perhaps looking for an cheaper alternative to what they already have.
The cherry on the cake is that many budget gyms offer no contract, an inexpensive or even non-existent joining fee, and the ability to join online and begin their fitness journey within minutes – whereas many premium gyms require at least one year’s membership, a pricey joining fee and a far more extensive sign-up process.
Finally, when it comes to the feel of the gym, premium clubs often carry a member stereotype of experienced gym-goers, which can be unsettling for those who feel unconfident in their fitness abilities. Reaching out to a broader selection of people, budget gyms offer facilities and a club atmosphere that appeals to everyone from the beginner to someone who has been training for some time. At énergie, all of our 100 local UK gyms offer modern facilities in a relaxed environment with helpful and friendly staff always on hand. We wanted to create gyms made for everyone and stand by our “Where you belong” message in everything we do, reaching out to a more diverse consumer market and welcoming everybody into the énergie family.
What does this progression mean for the health and fitness club industry as a whole?
An exciting future certainly lies ahead for both budget and premium fitness gyms, giving clubs the opportunity to develop considerably to match up to the increasing demands of today’s fitness market. The competition is strong, but with plenty of room for change, diversity and progression in years to come, there truly has never been a more inspiring and rewarding time to invest.
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