Fitness industry in a state of emergency
The forced closure burdens many businesses – and their customers
Leading voices in the industry have their say in this article and paint a disturbing picture of the financial situation of fitness providers – but more importantly, of the health situation of their customers.
“Weight room” was yesterday: so these days there are more and more studios that cater to much broader segments of the population, says IG Fitness CEO Roger Erni, quoted in this article. Almost 1.2 million Swiss citizens (14% of the population) are members of a center. By comparison, football clubs have 282,000 members, gymnastics clubs 248,000, tennis clubs 164,000 and golf clubs 90,000.
A shock for the industry, which has grown by 81% in recent years and is used to success: according to the industry report of the Swiss Fitness and Health Centre Association (SFGV) for 2020, a good 30,500 employees work in the studios. Last year, sales amounted to CHF 1.37 billion. The smaller businesses and individual suppliers in particular have suffered massive hardship as a result of the many closures.
However, it is not only the fitness businesses that are doing badly, but above all the members – and the employees. The majority of customers no longer train or train far too little, say the interviewees. What happens to the human body when physical activity is drastically cut back from one day to the next? If young, healthy adults took only 1,500 steps a day instead of 10,000, massive physical changes were seen after just 14 days, explains Patrik Meier, COO of the fitness chain Kieser Training.
But the 30500 employees are also increasingly frustrated because they are no longer allowed to work, he said.
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