Increasingly fierce competition in the UK gym sector is leading to historically low differences in price between the public and private sector.
The revelation that the average private health club now charges just £8 more for a monthly membership than a public site is one of several key findings from the inaugural Business Benchmarking Insight Report produced by ukactive and accountancy firm Mazars.
The report is based on unique data from 600 UK fitness and leisure sites with a combined membership of almost 1 million people over a 12 month period.
Findings show that, on average, members stay with their clubs for 17 months before moving on, but that private health and fitness centres enjoyed a longer average patronage of 24 months.
Other key findings include:
- Operators experienced the highest positive movement in membership numbers in January 2014 (5.58%), with the most notable drop in membership numbers occurring in December 2014 (-2.32%).
- Over the 12 month period, membership numbers for Leisure Trusts increased by 0.87% on average, almost double the national average of 0.43%.
- The membership fee at a private site is just £8 more than at a public site, with private centres charging on average £35.77 for a monthly fitness membership. The average monthly membership fee across all sites in the UK for 2014 was £30.82.
- Members remain with a site for an average of three months longer where group exercise classes are available.
- Facilities with a swimming pool generate, on average, more membership revenue per month than sites without pools.
“These are increasingly competitive times and tools like these are critical to the success of all customer-focused businesses,” said ukactive CEO David Stalker.