The State of Fitness: 2019 and Beyond
With the emergence of digital retailers like Amazon and more and more news stories of the closings of big-box stores like Toys-R-Us, people are quick to proclaim retail is dead. But where fitness is concerned, nothing could be further from the truth. Contrary to traditional retail, service-based or experience-based retail (such as fitness) is thriving. New concepts continue to emerge and new opportunities abound.
But why the strong surge in the fitness segment? A combination of things could be attributed to this growth, including an overall shift in consumer attitude towards a healthy and active lifestyle. Fitness is trending upward in 2019, and beyond! If you’re looking to become a business owner, below are a few reasons why fitness is a good bet for the future:
Health insurance costs
Many employers and insurers now cover the costs of a health club membership or studio classes. Healthy people cost much less to insure, and employers and insurers have finally realized that they can trim insurance costs by incentivizing healthy lifestyles. With spending on health care going up, that’s a big deal for every company’s bottom line – and it’s great for the people who get to benefit from the incentives.
Devices such as the Fitbit, Apple Watch, Garmin, and even many of the smartphones we carry around all day, are putting personalized biometric health statistics at millions of people’s fingertips. The ability for people to see how many steps they are taking in a day, how many calories they burn, what their heart rate is, or what their blood pressure is, are making them much more in tune with how their body works and how they can improve their health.
Shift in eating habits
In recent years consumer demand has been moving away from industrial-scale processed food in favor of healthier, more natural and/or organic options. This switch is causing people across the country to be more conscious of the food they eat – which has had the runoff effect of making more people interested in fitness. Once consumers start thinking more carefully about their dietary decisions, they naturally start thinking about other ways they can enhance their health.
Two segments of the fitness industry have been primarily responsible for the majority of its recent growth in members and number of facilities: Boutique fitness studios and “high-value, low-price” health clubs. Budget gyms are attracting members thanks to inexpensive memberships – typically in the $10 - $20 per-month range and usually offer a large club with a variety of equipment and some extra amenities.
Boutique studios, which have also been growing very quickly all over the country, are usually quite small and specialized. Spinning, high-intensity interval training classes, circuit training, kickboxing, Pilates – you name it, there is a boutique studio to fit that need. Selling points for these are the central locations (they can fit almost anywhere), the specialization, even the camaraderie fostered by the quainter environment.
All these factors have combined to create a fitness industry that is growing faster than it ever has before. The current U.S. health and fitness facility count is approximately 32,000. Look for that number to go way up – and potentially double – in the next decade or two. That’s great news for people invested in or working in the industry. To learn more about securing your place in the future of fitness with 9Round, contact us here.