“Technology (whether in the form of an app or wearable products) can be a powerful tool to boost motivation and increase retention levels, because it allows regular and accurate measurement of performance and fitness.”
– Michael Oliver – Senior Leisure and Media Analyst
Some questions answered in this report include:
- How can operators demonstrate empathy for customers’ squeezed financial circumstances?
- How can operators increase the appeal of their centres to women?
- How can operators capitalise on interest shown among over-45s?
- What can operators do to try to engage with non-exercisers or non-users of leisure centres?
- Where are the opportunities for operators around the growth in mobile technology?
- Is there potential for operators to develop personal training services further?
- Is there an opportunity for operators to smooth usage through the use of technology?
Despite concerns about consumers’ spending power in the face of a continued squeeze on living standards, the market for leisure centres and swimming pools has managed to maintain a pattern of growth in the past five years. Although operators had some misgivings about the actual benefit of the Olympics, they have been reporting strong growth in numbers of swimmers and gym members since London 2012. While there is little doubt that they have generally improved their offer, it is clear that the Olympics played a role in encouraging people to get more active.
This report assesses the current status of the market in terms of value of spend, number of centres and how revenues divide between sport and ancillary areas. It also ranks the leading operators by turnover and number of sites operated. Finally, it provides a comprehensive programme of consumer research into consumers’ visiting habits, frequency of visiting, the types of activity they do in leisure centres, reasons for using or not using them and finally some more general attitudes towards sport and exercise. Mintel last reported on this subject in Leisure Centres and Swimming Pools – UK, January 2013.
This report covers local authority-owned leisure centres and swimming pools, including facilities run on a ‘dual use’ basis, eg facilities housed within schools etc. that are available for use by the public at certain times of the day or week. Despite often being in direct competition with public leisure centre facilities, private health and fitness clubs are excluded from the coverage of this report, as are all other private facilities that are not open to the general public, such as those reserved for employees, or association or trade union members.