My source for this information is pressdispensary.co.uk, and they are quick to recognise the part that low and top end gyms are having on the fitness industry as a whole. Budget, yet highly technological, ‘anytime’ or 24 hour gyms are experiencing a boom, franchising right across the UK and Europe. The sudden growth of the more cost effective gyms is placing a lot of pressure on middle-market names such as LA Fitness, Fitness First and Bannatynes, and may well be forcing them into reinventing themselves.
Introduction of specialist and micro clubs
These recommendations/ predictions come off the back of a report written and produced by the industry expert Ray Algar and his Brighton- based global fitness industry consultancy Oxygen Consulting. The report entitled the 2013 review of the UK Health and Fitness Industry and an outlook for 2014 divides the market into three segments that are 1.) low cost, with monthly membership fees below £20, 2.) mid- market, with fees below £50, and 3.) premium’. One of the reports main findings was that the mid- market gyms such as the LA Fitness’s and Fitness First’s need an overhaul. Some mid- market clubs have begrudgingly taken steps in redesigning their business plans, Bannatynes is one example, they have increased the personal services and tried to enter the premium market. LA Fitness has now taken a leaf out of David Lloyds DL Studios (high street micro clubs) with the introduction of its LAX premium club brand.
Competition is growing…FAST!
Back in 2010, Algar’s report states that you would only find 1 low cost, budget club operating in and amongst the UK’s top 30 gyms. The report now suggests that this number will rise to 8, with new competitively priced gym chains such as The Gym Group, Pure Gym and Xercise4less popping up all over the place. After securing new funding, these budget gyms are opening everywhere and on a weekly basis!
More accessible industry
Ever been locked in to a gym membership despite wanting out!? I know I have, and this seems to be a complaint of many gym goers in the UK. Gyms would do all they could to guarantee revenue, so they introduced ‘lock- in’ based contracts that are/ were quite simply not fair! The Office of Fair Trading agreed with the publics dismay and have since made gym memberships more accessible by allowing early termination clauses, cheaper joining fees and simpler joining and leaving rules.
Pressdispensary.co.uk. (2014). Lower gym fees for more consumers in 2014, predicts industry report. Retrieved 20th February, 2014, from http://www.pressdispensary.co.uk/releases/c993764/Lower-gym-fees-for-more-consumers-in-2014,-predicts-industry-report.html