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RETENTION


members stay, we can see a wide difference between the best and worst performers. Median length of membership is currently just 12.3 months. However, the worst performing clubs only manage to hold on to members for six months, whereas the best performing clubs keep them for an additional 23.5 months. Based on a club of 1,000 members, each paying £35 a month, that would equate to a difference in income of £595,000 between the best and worst performers.


Customer profile MOSAIC profiling is used to understand characteristics of households and the individuals living there. The essence of the system is that small areas which share similar housing, lifestyle, demographic and socio-economic features will show similar likelihood of using specific services (eg gyms). If we review the demographics of


the members in The National Retention Report sample using MOSAIC profi ling, we can see that the health club industry currently attracts the majority of its members from just seven of the 15 MOSAIC groups. The report suggests the industry is dominated by the middle classes, failing to attract the highest or lowest income groups. Rural areas and older people are also under-represented. This is true across all sectors. Indeed, while previous reports have shown


64


Older members are more loyal than younger members – 66 per cent of those aged over 55 maintain membership for a year Figure 2. Overview of retention rate trends 100


Meanwhile, if we look at how long 93.5 93.6 88 75 50 25 0.0


3 MONTHS 2002


6 MONTHS 2008 MONTHS SINCE JOINING


that MOSAIC types differ by public and private sector, the new report suggests this is no longer the case, with types that were previously only seen in more expensive private sector clubs now being found equally in public sector facilities. Perhaps most worrying in this is the


fact that leisure facilities set up to provide opportunities for the least well-off do not seem to be attracting those groups suffi ciently to represent their community. So why is this happening? Certainly


the past four years have seen some dramatic changes in the fi tness offering being made available to the buying public. First of all, the variety of offerings has


diminished in the sector. Public sector sites have been rejuvenated by refi ts and


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


rebuilds, and the quality of the product offering improved. Public sector operators have also


been keen to employ sales approaches that mimic the private sector – the sort of approaches that previously set private operators apart – while still maintaining their community values. In short, they have upped their game. Meanwhile the private sector has


experienced challenging times. Health and fi tness clubs have often had to maintain an ageing portfolio of facilities in the face of increased competition from the low-cost market – which has boomed in both private and public sectors – as well as a newly invigorated public sector.


September 2013 © Cybertrek 2013 12 MONTHS


18 MONTHS 2013


78.4 84.4 73.9 60.6 65.8 51.9 47.9 33.7


PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM


PROPORTION STILL MEMBERS


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