Health and Fitness Clubs - UK - October 2009
The UK health and fitness clubs market has hit a sticky patch in the past 18 months, which has seen market growth stall as a result of the combined impact of the banking crisis and associated economic recession. Club openings have slowed to a trickle in all but a few cases as the funding necessary to pursue an aggressive opening programme has dried up and consumers have been cutting back on non-essential items, as their confidence has plummeted amid fears of losing their jobs, mounting debt levels and rounds of pay freezes or pay cuts.
The process of consolidation which was evident when Mintel last reported on the market (in May 2007) has continued, albeit at a much reduced pace. Penetration of health clubs has slowed to a standstill and still remains at a level nearly half that of the much more developed US market. Cost remains a major issue for many consumers and for that reason, the emergence of the budget health clubs sector during the past 18 months is a welcome development which could attract a large tranche of new consumers into the market. Other innovations in the world of gaming, such as the Nintendo Wii, also have the potential to benefit the industry.
This report analyses the current status of the UK health and fitness clubs industry and considers its likely future development, including providing detailed profiles of the major multi-site operators. It also looks at consumer behaviour relating to, and attitudes towards, health and fitness clubs, with a view to identifying market opportunities.
How has the economic recession impacted on consumer behaviour regarding and attitudes towards health and fitness clubs?
How has the recession and banking crisis impacted on the major operators?
How are operators going to maintain growth without opening new clubs?
Will the ‘no frills’ budget format catch on in the health clubs market?
What are the opportunities for operators to expand their businesses in the future?
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