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MEET ME AT THE BAR A REVIEW OF THE UK HEALTH AND FITNESS MARKET


STUDIO TIME


The popularity of class-based fitness and group exercise has exploded in recent years. This is perhaps most evident in the capital, where pay-per-class studio gym concepts now account for over 42% of all gyms. With the millennial market driving demand, these concepts are expected to expand nationally in the coming years.


Typical floor space requirements of 4,000 – 6,000 sq ft means that, studio gyms are compact enough to fill the voids left by high street retail or restaurant store closures as well as space in office developments – making them versatile and highly flexible. However, due to the density requirements and pricing structures, we do not expect these concepts to expand regionally outside of the major towns and cities, as well as affluent suburban locations.


Studio gyms are compact enough to fill the voids left by high street retail or restaurant store closures


Consumer demand for fun, effective and socially engaging classes has also led to increased investment in studio facilities by traditional branded clubs – including the same low cost operators that originally


removed classes when the concept was first introduced in the UK. This increasingly competitive environment is fuelling concept differentiation. Demand for high-quality instructors able to deliver results-driven classes remains paramount to these concepts’ success. With more flexible memberships, pay-to-train and options such as Class Pass, loyalty is no longer guaranteed through lengthy fixed contracts.


David Lloyd Leisure has sought to address the growing boutique studio fitness model by developing its ‘Blaze’ concept, which effectively operates as a club within a club and has been successfully rolled out in a number of locations across the UK.


Barry’s Bootcamp – dubbed the hardest workout – has already opened in Edinburgh and Manchester. Similarly, barre concept, Barrecore, has opened in Hale, Alderley Edge, and Bristol. Tribe, which has outlets in Tel Aviv, Madrid and Helsinki, alongside Leeds and Sheffield, is looking for further representation across the UK. London- based brands, such as boutique boxing concept Kobox, and performance cycling Digme, are now selectively looking for regional representation.


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