Interview Synopsis

Gym operators – North America industry update & long-term outlook

  • Credit
  • Consumer
  • North America

A rise in boutique fitness, at-home/streaming aggressively targeting lower-income customers, and software companies becoming more embedded in fitness were some of the trends highlighted by a senior executive at Excel Fitness Holdings Inc when asked about the fitness industry.

Can gym operators step up to the post-pandemic reality?

As vaccines have been distributed, “we’ve seen not only elevated numbers [of] joins from members of the under-30 age bracket, but we’re seeing that ratio begin to even out as the people in the 30-50 range, who made up the other bulk of the joins, are beginning to come back to the facilities.”

Another new usage trend has surfaced as people return. “Our current membership might be 80% of that indexed number from pre-COVID, but the usage might be 90%, which suggests that active members are coming more frequently than they had before.”

The Interview also covered competitive dynamics, spanning high- to low-tier names. A number of players could be at risk of distress, with the specialist listing those that had expanded nationwide but are now regressing.

Digital is “additive” to the high-value, low price segment, as it can enhance the experience for consumers that are generally less experienced. However, “for the price-sensitive, I don’t view at-home as our true competitor yet, although I do expect that those manufacturing will continue to try to build products that better-suit those needs.”

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