Fitness boutiques, beer and DJ sets in training – tools that modern owners of fitness clubs use
Over the past few years, the sports industry from the narrow business segment has become a part of everyday life. The trend is well traced in the US, where every third New Yorker regularly plays sports. The Russian market of fitness services is far from saturation, about 10% of the population is involved in sports and only 2.5% (3.6 million people) attend fitness. Although new formats and the introduction of technology in this area should soon make a difference. Russian fitness projects collect global trends coming from developed fitness economies in the USA, Germany, and the UK.
Fashion to change activities
Modern fitness clubs of all formats are trying to add more interactive and entertainment for visitors. In the New York BeerFitClub, for example, visitors are poured beer. And the Russian fitness network “Rocket” arranges DJ sets every evening. Following it, light and music shows have made many sports clubs a highlight.
What for? The answer is simple: people need variety, since monotonous training processes most clients quickly get bored. Visitors are happy to switch between disciplines and take part in testing new products. So it was with cross-fit, and now, for example, virtual workouts are popular – not a live trainer deals with clients, but a monitor with recording of certain exercises. Another series of new products is related to the gaming component. For example, in the club Crocus Fitness Kuntsevo, a combination of an arcade game and a digital field was introduced into the classroom — the system offers a variety of tasks, monitors the pulse, repetitions, and allows you to conduct classes in an interesting and effective way.
The format of fitness boutiques is from the USA. These are small in size (400–700 sq. M.) Clubs with an emphasis on intensive, narrow-profile training. Classes in fitness boutiques are chosen by people with experience visiting large network clubs who have chosen one direction and want to get a more advanced product. For 10 years, the format has won over 40% of the American market. In Europe, the unequivocal leader is the United Kingdom, although it is gradually growing in other countries. The British network TRIB3 (there is also in Russia) specializes in high-intensity workouts of 45 minutes of three components: treadmills, zones of intense and work with free weights. The coach gives the task and corrects the technique of execution, but at the same time each participant trains with a personal monitor.
A small area of the halls allows you to open them in office and shopping centers in business districts and actually conduct classes almost “on the job.” Betting is also done on the unique design of halls and advanced loyalty programs. With a narrow list of services, the owners of boutique clubs have developed their own system of motivation and customer retention: setting goals for participants (which effectively involves them in the process) and an exclusive composition of coaches who become the hallmark of the club.
According to world experience, one investor opens several studios, costs less than full-size clubs, and on this scale, the economy works better. The product of the same type allows you to quickly scale, for example, the large American franchise, Orangetheory Fitness, already has more than 500 studios. In Russia, fitness boutiques appeared two years ago, in Moscow now there are five or seven such clubs. Their owners claim that the estimated payback of establishments is about four years, and the number of subscriptions (regular visitors) per club is from 600 to 1500.
Classic all inclusive
Hold the position and multi-format fitness clubs, where there is everything: a gym, several rooms for group classes, martial arts area, pool, sauna, spa and massage. It also offers strength and cardio training, functional training and general physical training, static loads, water sports, dancing and more.
New clubs and networks of this format appear constantly – this is a classic for both economically developed countries and for the young, like Russia. Our consumers, who are traditionally used to receiving the whole complex of services in one place, have this format most preferable. The economy of such clubs is different, but in general it is not a highly profitable and fast-paying business (about five to seven years, but with a preferential lease it can be four years). Also in large clubs there is a “wet” zone, where swimming pools, hammams, saunas are located. The availability of these services allows fitness centers to increase the mark-up on the subscription by an average of 30%, but at the same time, the efficiency of returns per square meter is significantly reduced.
The development strategy of large premium fitness clubs is based on the formation of a permanent pool of customers with club cards. It is important to understand that a fitness club is not an online store and cannot constantly attract different audiences. In addition, each club is always strictly tied to its area. No matter how good the services are, customers will not go to the other end of the city.
Sports in the area
A democratic alternative to the multi-format premium club is moderately spacious fitness halls of the regional scale, which have replaced the semi-basement rocking from zero. Their main feature is the ratio of low prices and a wide range of services. In such clubs there is a large abundance of sports programs (group and individual), there is an opportunity to work with a coach. Usually classes are attended by middle-class people, housewives, young mothers and employees who are tired of sedentary work. These are the so-called “home” fitness clubs, they are located in residential areas, and the potential for growth in demand for their services in Russia is enormous. For comparison: the penetration of fitness services in large cities of the United States – 48%. In Russian megacities, this is only 10%, and in the provinces – less than 5%. Given the low rental of suitable space and an excess of potential customers, the payback period for democratic fitness clubs is three to four years. However, a lot here depends on marketing: due to the “low base” effect, a multiple growth of both the audience and income is possible.