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Health and Fitness Clubs - US - June 2011

Mintel defines private and commercial health and fitness clubs as those being operated by an individual or a corporate, for-profit organization. Nonprofit health and fitness clubs are defined as those facilities that offer health and fitness memberships to consumers yet do not profit from these memberships.

The spa industry and tennis/racquet club industry, except as they relate to the health and fitness industry, are not included.

The analysis contained within the Consumer sections of this report does, however, consider all types of health and fitness club. Throughout this report, the terms health club/facility, fitness club/facility, and gym are used interchangeably.

Within this report, Mintel discusses three tiers of health and fitness clubs, based on membership dues. On average, the budget clubs category includes gyms with a monthly membership rate around $10-30. Mid-tier gyms have an average monthly membership rate of $30-70, and offer some services and basic amenities, such as showers, classes, and day care. High-end facilities are those with a monthly membership rate around $75+ that offer a range of services, such as well-appointed locker rooms, shops, and juice bars, as well as a range of class offering and amenities.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Advertising creative
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                      • Category snapshot: healthy during the recession and after
                        • Fitness clubs in good shape: reasons for category growth
                          • Workout fatigue: challenges lay ahead
                            • Reasons for not joining a gym
                              • Fitness club usage and length of membership
                                • Important factors in gym selection
                                  • Cost of membership
                                    • Attitudes toward health and fitness clubs
                                      • Struggles with exercising
                                        • Use of and interest in training options
                                        • Insights and Opportunities

                                          • Creative strategies for member retention
                                            • Practical concerns are paramount
                                                • Figure 1: Top five characteristics in order of importance in gym selection, February 2011
                                              • But will that play in Manhattan?
                                                • Pump up the PR
                                                • Inspire Insights

                                                    • Trend: A Simple Balance for Health
                                                      • Fitness clubs as wellness centers
                                                        • Good for what ails you
                                                          • Graying fitness clubs for today’s America
                                                            • Implications
                                                            • Market Size and Forecast

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Category revenues are healthy
                                                                  • Challenges that can cause category fatigue
                                                                    • Health and fitness clubs revenue trends
                                                                      • Figure 2: Health and fitness clubs total revenues, at current prices, 2005-15
                                                                      • Figure 3: Health and fitness clubs total revenues, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2005-15
                                                                    • Fan chart forecast
                                                                        • Figure 4: Health and fitness clubs total revenues and fan chart forecast, at current prices, 2005-15
                                                                    • Market Drivers

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Exercise on the rise
                                                                          • Figure 5: Percentage of Americans exercising for 30 minutes a week, 2008-10
                                                                        • An aging America threatens category growth
                                                                          • Figure 6: Current membership of gym facilities, by age, February 2011
                                                                          • Figure 7: Population, by age, 2006-16
                                                                        • The persistent problem of member churn
                                                                          • The rise of the small fitness club
                                                                              • Figure 8: Membership retention and revenues by square foot and member, by club size, 2010
                                                                            • Novelty versus simplicity
                                                                              • Figure 9: Five most popular activities at a fitness club, 2010
                                                                            • Good times at fitness clubs
                                                                              • Figure 10: Average revenue per member, 2005-10
                                                                          • Segment Performance

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Commercial fitness clubs still dominate the category
                                                                                • Memberships by fitness club type
                                                                                  • Figure 11: Memberships in health and fitness clubs, by segment, 2007 and 2009
                                                                                • Number of locations shrinking as membership grows
                                                                                  • Figure 12: U.S. health and fitness club membership and number of locations, 2005-10
                                                                              • Competitive Context

                                                                                • America, the land of the sedentary
                                                                                  • Exercising to video games
                                                                                    • Running clubs get into the fast lane
                                                                                      • Figure 13: Number of Americans who run, 2008-10
                                                                                      • Figure 14: Number of running clubs, 2006-10
                                                                                  • Leading Companies

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Sales at luxury fitness clubs fall
                                                                                        • Sales steady at mid-tier fitness clubs
                                                                                          • Leading health club chains
                                                                                            • Figure 15: leading health and fitness club chains, 2007 and 2009
                                                                                          • Noteworthy budget fitness clubs
                                                                                            • 24 Hour Fitness
                                                                                              • Figure 16: Revenues for 24 Hour Fitness, 2009-2010
                                                                                            • Anytime Fitness
                                                                                              • Snap Fitness
                                                                                                • Planet Fitness
                                                                                                • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                                  • Bay Tennis & Fitness Club and Petoskey Health & Fitness cut churn
                                                                                                    • Creative promotions to keep members
                                                                                                      • Outdoor programming is in
                                                                                                        • Creative classes
                                                                                                          • Ultimate luxury and celebrity
                                                                                                          • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                            • Category overview
                                                                                                              • Figure 17: Advertising expenditures by industry leaders, 2008-09
                                                                                                            • Overview of the brand landscape
                                                                                                              • Brand analysis: Bally
                                                                                                                  • Figure 18: Bally, 2011
                                                                                                                • Brand analysis: Gold’s Gym
                                                                                                                  • Figure 19: Gold’s Gym, 2011
                                                                                                                • Brand analysis: Planet Fitness
                                                                                                                    • Figure 20: Planet Fitness, 2011
                                                                                                                  • Online initiatives
                                                                                                                    • Apps
                                                                                                                      • Facebook
                                                                                                                        • Twitter
                                                                                                                          • YouTube
                                                                                                                            • Other
                                                                                                                              • Television presence
                                                                                                                                • Figure 21: Gold’s Gym, television ad, 2010
                                                                                                                                • Figure 22: Planet Fitness, television ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                • Figure 23: Anytime Fitness, television ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Curves, television ad, 2010
                                                                                                                            • Health and Fitness Club Usage

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • All-purpose gyms are the most popular
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Health and fitness club membership, by gender, February 2011
                                                                                                                                • Gym membership is for the young
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Health and fitness club membership, by age, February 2011
                                                                                                                                • Parents more likely to belong to an all-purpose gym
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Health and fitness club membership, by presence of children in household, February 2011
                                                                                                                              • How Long Consumers have had a Gym Membership

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • As respondents age, gym membership lengthens
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Length of current gym membership, by age, February 2011
                                                                                                                                    • Length of gym membership at any club
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: length of current gym membership versus any gym membership, February 2011
                                                                                                                                      • Older respondents have been members of gyms for longer periods
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Previous gym membership rates, by age, February 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Having children brings longer gym memberships
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Length of current gym membership, by presence of children in household, February 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Less affluent more likely to have shorter gym memberships
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 32: Previous gym membership length, by household income, February 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Important Factors in Gym Selection

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Location, cleanliness, and friendliness matter
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 33: Importance rating of various characteristics in gym selection, February 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Almost everything is important to women in choosing a gym
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Summary of very important characteristics in gym selection, by gender, February 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Characteristics sought varies by age; 35-44s appear to be choosiest
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Summary of very important characteristics in gym selection, by age, February 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Respondents with children want a lot in a gym
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Summary of very important characteristics in gym selection, by children in household, February 2011
                                                                                                                                              • The affluent have prosaic concerns
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 37: Summary of very important characteristics in gym selection, by household income, February 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Cost of Membership

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Most pay for their membership
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Responsibility for paying for health club membership, by gender, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • 25-34s more likely to pay for memberships
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Responsibility for paying for health club membership, by age, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • About $48 is average monthly cost
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Average monthly cost and type of gym membership, by gender, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Attitudes toward Health and Fitness Clubs

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Attitudes toward gyms over time: the good, the bad, and otherwise
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Attitudes toward health and fitness clubs, March 2009
                                                                                                                                                      • Gyms are overcrowded
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Overcrowding at the gym, by gender, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • 18-34s report overcrowding
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Overcrowding at the gym, by age, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Struggles with Exercising

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Women have problems with motivation
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Struggles with exercise, by gender, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • 18-34s lack motivation, are bored
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Struggles with exercise, by age, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • More affluent more likely to think exercising at the gym is boring
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Struggles with exercise, by household income, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Use of and Interest in Training Options

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Respondents are interested in using trainers
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 47: Use of and interest in personal training options, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • 25-34s more likely to be using trainers
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Current users of personal training options, by age, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Parents use personal trainers
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Current users of personal training options, by children in household, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Women more interested in trying personal trainers
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Interested in trying personal training, by gender, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • 18-34s more interested in trying personal trainers
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Interested in trying personal training, by age, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Shunning the Gym—Attitudes of Nonmembers

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • Price/value are key barriers
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Reasons for not having a current gym membership, by gender, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Reasons for not belonging to a gym changes with age
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Reasons for not having a current gym membership, by age, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Income and not exercising for different reasons
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Reasons for not having a current gym membership, by household income, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                • Hispanic respondents more likely to have joined a gym in the past year
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Previous gym membership rates, by race and Hispanic origin, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                                • Hispanics have a tough time with motivation
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Struggles with exercise, by race and Hispanic origin, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                                • Hispanics, minorities want a lot out of a fitness club
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Summary of very important characteristics in gym selection, by race and Hispanic origin, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                                • Reasons for not joining: too expensive for Hispanics; discomfort for whites
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Reasons for not having a current gym membership, by race and Hispanic origin, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                  • Unsatisfied Newbies
                                                                                                                                                                    • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                      • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                        • Social Exercisers
                                                                                                                                                                          • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                            • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                              • Fitness Basics
                                                                                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Characteristic tables
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 59: Health and fitness club clusters, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 60: Gym type belonged to, by health and fitness club clusters, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Length of current gym membership, by health and fitness club clusters, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 62: Length of any gym membership, by health and fitness club clusters, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 63: Cost of monthly membership, payment responsibility, and type of membership by health and fitness club clusters, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 64: Attitudes toward the gym, by health and fitness club clusters, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 65: Important characteristics in selecting a gym, by health and fitness club clusters, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 66: Use of personal training options, by health and fitness club clusters, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Demographic tables
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Health and fitness club clusters, by gender, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Health and Fitness Club clusters, by age, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 69: Health and fitness club clusters, by household income, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 70: Health and Fitness Club clusters, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Not married and with children have greatest rates of club memberships
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 71: Health and fitness club membership, by marital status and children in household, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                        • However, also most likely to struggle with boredom and motivation
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Struggles with exercise, by marital status and children in household, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Married and with children prize convenience; not married and with children want discounts
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 73: Summary of very important characteristics in gym selection, by marital status and children in household, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Gender plays little role in length of membership
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 74: Length of current gym membership, by gender, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Affluent respondents more likely to belong to a large, all-purpose gym
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 75: Health and fitness club membership, by household income, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Without children have longest membership at any gym
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 76: Previous gym membership length, by children in household, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • 18-24s and 45+s pay the most for monthly memberships
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 77: Average monthly cost and type of gym membership, by age, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Personal trainer use
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 78: Current users of personal training options, by gender, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 79: Current use of and interest in trying personal training options, by household income, February 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                            • 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Amazon North America
                                                                                                                                                                                            • AMC Entertainment Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                            • American Council on Exercise (ACE)
                                                                                                                                                                                            • American Heart Association, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Bally Total Fitness Holding Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Chesapeake Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Dell Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Equinox Fitness Club, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Foursquare
                                                                                                                                                                                            • International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA)
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Jewish Community Center Association
                                                                                                                                                                                            • LA Fitness PLC
                                                                                                                                                                                            • LIFE TIME FITNESS, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Microsoft USA
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Mid-Atlantic Club Management Association (MACMA)
                                                                                                                                                                                            • National Basketball Association
                                                                                                                                                                                            • National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association
                                                                                                                                                                                            • National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)
                                                                                                                                                                                            • National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA)
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Nintendo of America Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                            • President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Running USA
                                                                                                                                                                                            • The New York Times Company
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Town Sports International Holdings, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                            • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                            • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                                                                                            • US Department of Commerce
                                                                                                                                                                                            • USA Today
                                                                                                                                                                                            • YMCA
                                                                                                                                                                                            • YMCA of the USA
                                                                                                                                                                                            • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Health and Fitness Clubs - US - June 2011

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