Opinion

Taking a forward look at the health club industry for 2017

Recently I was invited to contribute to Health Club Management's 2017 Handbook. A number of health and fitness industry commentators were asked to focus on a single theme for the coming year. I chose the importance of reputation: The health club industry was built with a focus on the tangible experience; ...

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Ray Algar discusses change in the health club industry

Recently I was interviewed for the Australian Fitness Business Podcast about the research I have been undertaking as well as the ongoing mission of Gymtopia. During the thirty-minute show, we discussed:     The two fundamental strategic paths that fitness brands are now pursuing. The rise of fitness substitutes. The November fitness project. ...

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I was wrong about Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards

Last night I watched the film about Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards. For those that don’t know, Edwards is a British ski jumper who competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Canada and finished last in both the 70-metre and 90-metre events. He became the first British athlete since 1929 to ...

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The future of mid-market health clubs

Health Club Management magazine contacted me recently to discuss a feature they were writing on change in the health club mid-market. They were asking this question: 'For the past decade, since the advent of low-cost clubs, there’s been talk of the mid-market disappearing. These clubs are still hanging on, but ...

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Health club industry prediction for 2016

What might the coming year bring for the fitness and physical activity sector? Independent clubs comprise half of the UK private sector but I believe their long-term role is being fundamentally challenged. Last year independent clubs accounted for three in every four clubs that went out of business. Those that closed ...

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Leisure Industry Week Presentation by Ray Algar

Below is a copy of the presentation I delivered at Leisure Industry Week in Birmingham during September 2015. The presentation theme was looking at how the health and fitness industry is evolving and how a wide range of fitness substitutes are challenging legacy clubs.   Jak Phillips from the Leisure Media Company ...

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Comment on Pure Gym buying LA fitness

On May 29th 2015 came news that Pure Gym was buying LA fitness, subject to approval from the Competition and Markets Authority, the competition regulator. Of all the potential buyers including Fitness First, Sports Direct and Terra Firma, I was surprised on hearing this news. Fitness First was seen as ...

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Ray Algar interview with IHRSA Club Business International Magazine

Recently I was contacted by Patricia Amend, Executive Editor of IHRSA's Club Business International (CBI) magazine. The magazine has a regular section which features interviews with people connected to the health and fitness industry. Here are the questions Pat put to me: Your specialty is research in the health club industry. ...

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Rise of the Boutique Fitness Studio

During October, I was invited to speak at the IHRSA European Congress held in Amsterdam. The Congress brings together each year around 600 senior fitness industry players from 35 countries. The focus of my presentation was the emergence of boutique fitness studios which are popping up in the UK. Think ...

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Health Club Management discuss Gymtopia

Kate Cracknell, Editor of UK-based Health Club Management devotes her 'Letter from the Editor' to discuss the idea of health clubs becoming more socially orientated. The letter discusses Gymtopia which launches at the end of May 2013. ------------- Social responsibility Why do health clubs – operations that pivot around the idea of doing ...

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