As we move into a new decade, club owners are bracing themselves for the next wave of fitness programming. If the recent past is any guide, the path ahead is unpredictable and volatile. Clubs have to be ready to embrace diversity in all forms.
That’s reflected in IHRSA research. According to new data in 2019 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report, younger demographics such as Millennials, a sometimes fickle consumer group and the most important demographic for health clubs, are more likely to gravitate to HIIT, yoga, and cardio kickboxing classes than older members. They’re also less likely to stick around a single facility in the absence of a complete offering, choosing to follow their passion to multiple training outlets.
In other words, they aren’t being effectively converted to the coveted “Core Users” club owners want as regulars. Core Users utilize clubs from 100-149 times during a single year, and they're crucial to industry success. Says IHRSA researchers: “Empirical data indicates that Core Users are the most likely to remain members, and possibly the most likely to spend on additional services….”
IHRSA’s report also points out that “Boutique fitness studio members (7%) were the least likely to be classified as Infrequent Users….” With boutiques offering a single type of workout, this tells you that once a member finds a specific experience they love, they’ll keep coming back.
This puts pressure on general multipurpose and fitness-only facilities to service those members who are passionate about specialty workouts, like yoga, boxing, or barre, while still enjoying the conveniences of a traditional club. Is there a way to service all of these members under one roof with limited space and budget for live instructors?