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


INCREASED OPPORTUNITIES


Location, location, location – it is a mantra that certainly rings true for the health and fitness market. Being close to good schools and transport links used to be the top priorities when buying a house; now, gyms are a key driver.


Almost half of people surveyed said what they liked most about their gym was that it was close to home and another 75% were willing to spend more on monthly rent or mortgage payments to be near their gym of choice.


Landlords now have the opportunity to start thinking creatively about the way gyms are incorporated into wider residential or mixed-use developments. For example, in Manchester, the wellness platform, Hero Fitness, has partnered with Moda Living, which is looking to create “the UK’s healthiest rental communities”, by providing a range of fitness and wellness services in residential projects led by the developer.


With 52% of people saying they exercise more intensely during weekdays, office landlords have the opportunity to better utilise and monetise buildings’ underused or vacant spaces, such as basements. Already, the conversion of lower ground floors in offices across the UK has created a steady stream of new gym opportunities, while more are yet to be explored. Similarly, the downturn in the retail sector is likely to provide more opportunities for in-town and out-of-town leisure facilities.


The convenience of being able to shop and workout in a single location continues to have an effect, with the number of gyms situated in high street locations increasing by over 15% since 2017. Other growth areas include the quasi-retail “free class” type offer as hosted very successfully by Sweaty Betty and the virtual studio classes promoted by US operator Peloton, who have opened a limited number of London showrooms


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