HCM Issue 8 2021

Page 46

OPINION

Sophie Lawler Total Fitness

photo: Total Fitness

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ecovery is promising and 40 per cent better than after the first UK lockdown. While things slowed a little in June 2021, we still recovered 5 per cent of our membership loss in that month alone. Around 10 to 20 per cent of our new joiners are coming from city clubs and with people working at home, we’re seeing more visits during the daytime. Almost half our new joiners had a membership pre-lockdown, half of which were with low-cost clubs, so we’ve definitely seen a shift in the demographic profile of new signups and a preference for flexible memberships. The fact we have swimming pools has influenced the choices of 80 per cent of new joiners. Historically, the main reasons for joining Total Fitness revolved around price and location/ convenience, and while these remain a factor (28 per cent of joiners cite them), they’re now ranked behind quality and variety.

Lawler says there’s an emerging preference for flexible memberships

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Issue 8 2021 ©Cybertrek 2021

The fact we have swimming pools has influenced the choices of 80 per cent of new joiners The busyness of previous gyms is also cited as a core reason to join – we think this suggests a more considered approach to purchasing and are interested to see if this trend continues or diminishes over time, as we return to a more normalised way of living. Nine per cent of newly-active joiners exercised at home first during lockdown before taking the decision to join a club and nearly

half expect to complement their membership with something else, including organised outdoor classes or equipment-led classes at home. We’ve been surprised that 60 per cent of our joiners signed up for a reason unrelated to the pandemic and this trend was more pronounced in the older age groups. For those who were influenced by COVID-19, it was the youngest joiners who cited this as a driver.