Network Blog

Reflections on fitness, wellness, health and more

The Fitness Industry, is it recession proof?

It seems like every new day brings yet more stories of economic doom and gloom. Businesses closing left, right and centre, people losing their jobs, houses and cars. Certainly, if you talk to anyone who works in the financial, real estate or corporate travel business, their spirits are nowhere near as high as they have been in recent years..

But what about our industry, the fitness industry? How are we as fitness professionals specifically being affected on a global scale? On a purely anecdotal basis, from the Network perspective, times are good. Our membership base is as solid as it ever has been, our FILEX event in 2009 was one of the biggest we have ever run and there seems to be increasing demand for our training courses. With the introduction of some fantastic new services, like PTontheNET and online eCEC courses, we have been able to adapt and streamline the business and attract a whole new generation of people to our organisation.

Interestingly, IHRSA (the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association) recently released a report about the industry in America suffering a downturn, not a major one but nonetheless. The report illustrates an average decline in total revenues from membership sales and secondary income of 4.7 per cent, which although troubling, is not a large decline compared to that experienced by other industries. To read the full article click here.

Thomas Plummer, a well known fitness industry management and sales consultant in the US, reports in his blog that; ‘All Laws of Predictability are now Suspended in the Fitness Business World’. In a nutshell, he reports that many clubs he works with are experiencing serious challenges in being able to predict their future income and are resorting to day-to-day cash flow management which has never been an issue in the past To read the full post, click here.

Conversely, to top it off, Financialweek.com, an online portal reporting on corporate finance, predicted at the end of 2008 that the fitness and wellness industry would be one of the few areas to grow in 2009. It specifically mentions that as the Baby Boomer generation passes through its 40s and 50s, it will see the value in preventative medicine, such as exercise, to keep healthy and stay away from hospital. To read the full artcile, click here.

What about your club or fitness facility? How is it coping with the economic downturn? Are you ‘feeling the pinch’ or growing this year? We would love to hear from you, please use the comments feature below.

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