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People using employee fi tness schemes are showing strong signs of returning

R O F E S U CA M S I M I T P O How have consumers responded to the end of lockdowns? Cesar Carvalho shares some bounceback numbers with HCM

ecovery. It’s the word on everyone’s lips right now. Especially in the UK and other parts of the world where restrictions are being reduced. But what does ‘recovery’ look like for our sector? After months of closures and reduced capacities, what can operators look forward to in terms of attendance? There is no centralised data source showing the complete market picture when it comes to trading in the world’s health clubs, gyms and studios, so we need to access and aggregate all available numbers to try to establish a picture of what’s going on. Gympass works in partnership with 50,000 fitness facilities globally – 2,600 of them in the UK and around 12,000 in the US, with others in Latin America and elsewhere – to offer employees access to fitness and wellness activities as part of companies’ corporate health programmes.


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It has been tracking performance pre-pandemic and post-lockdowns within these cohorts. The sample is by definition skewed towards people who are in employment, but nonetheless, offers useful insights. UK and US results In the UK in February 2020 – pre-lockdown – the company recorded 63,504 consumer check-ins to health clubs, studios and gyms. By May 2021 – only weeks after reopening – the Gympass Recovery Index saw its UK operators pass the halfway mark in terms of recovery, with 53 per cent of the visits – or 33,657 check-ins – when compared to the pre-pandemic numbers. This means they fared better than they had done in previous reopening phases in August and October 2020, when 33 per cent and 51 per cent of members respectively returned to the gym.