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Knowing your membership, and matching the right products to them, is essential if you wish to make this area of your business work

Working out what members want is

also crucial to the success of building this income stream. “We’re a fi tness gym, not a ‘cappuccino gym’ as I call them,” he says. “Our female members tend to be in and out quickly and are only really interested in buying bottled water.” Kershaw has found that, at his club, nutritional products are most popular with men who want a recovery aid.

choosing right

One club that does target women with its choice of products is énergie Fitness for Women in Belfast. The club currently stocks Ultrabody Detox and The Buzz energy bars, but is planning to expand the range to include Ultrabody’s Inch Loss Shakes and Total Nutrition, which are all targeted at a weight- conscious female membership. Owner of the Belfast franchise, Saima

Akram, says she would only ever stock products that she would be willing to use herself and has found the Detox product to be easy to take, with a good fl avour, and doesn’t require members to do anything different in terms of their diet. “Nutritional products are important in terms of secondary spend,” she says.

“However, I also feel it’s important that we stock them in order to give members a one-stop shop for all their healthy lifestyle needs.”

april 2010 © cybertrek 2010

The sale of nutritional products has proved to be relatively recession-proof, despite pressure on membership

Akram estimates that sales of

nutritional products generate around 3 to 4 per cent of the monthly turnover – a level she says is easy to achieve. “The most successful method is

defi nitely having taster sessions in the club. We always notice an increase in interest and sales of products around these times,” she says.

LA Fitness in Sydenham – near Crystal

Palace, London – also stocks Detox, and general manager Clare Ewens says it’s become an essential contributor to gym revenue: 44 packages were sold in January, which translates to £657 profi t – just for one product. “Despite the recession, it hasn’t been diffi cult to sell. Our fi tness team are always upselling it, and a lot of them have tried it themselves so can vouch for the fact that it works,” she says.

business driver

There are compelling reasons to work this area of the business harder: not only does the sale of nutritional products seem to be relatively recession-proof, but it also provides a service for members which they obviously like and provides a talking point for staff to connect with them. It may involve a few risks in terms of

investment in stock – which is why it’s important to look closely at the profi le of club members to match the right product to them, as well as making sure that all club staff know the products – but the rewards certainly seem to be there for those willing to invest the time and energy into getting this area of their offering right.

healthclub@leisuremedia.com

kath hudson

Read Health Club Management online healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital 65

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