BBC Watchdog programme investigates how gym sell memberships

Today (5th April 2012) the BBC Watchdog programme broadcast its findings into dysfunctional sales practices at Fitness First and LA Fitness. I watched the programme several times and was left wondering why the Watchdog team love to regularly feature the UK health club industry. Last night the programme found examples of ...

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Interview with Hasse Hoftvedt, CEO of fitness.xpress gyms

Following the recent publication of my 2011 Global Low-cost Gym Sector Report, Hasse Hoftvedt, CEO of fitness.xpress gyms in Norway contacted me to update me on the expansion of his budget gym business. What follows is a short interview. How did a guy with a degree in Petroleum Engineering from the ...

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Holmes Place clubs in Salzburg and Linz declared insolvent

The Holmes Place clubs in Salzburg and Linz, Austria have been declared insolvent in the Salzburg Regional Court. The total corporate debts are believed to be in excess of €53 million Euros making it one of the state's largest business failures during 2011. It seems as though the clubs have been ...

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Strategic review of David Lloyd Leisure underway

News broke last week that a strategic review is underway at David Lloyd Leisure. A 'strategic review' normally denotes that a significant event is underway. David Lloyd Leisure The business operates 89 health and racquets clubs across the UK and Europe and was acquired for £940 million (€1.1 billion Euros) in ...

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David Cameron’s New Year Resolutions for 2011 found on Starbucks napkin

It seems that even a Prime Minister can suffer a lapse at a most inopportune moment. I appreciate this is not on the same scale as WikiLeaks, but it is still very revealing. The lesson here is simple: By all means pop into your local Starbucks for a Caramel Macchiato, ...

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Can you just take a little off the sides!

Get back on that treadmill, because the alternative is going to hurt even more! Credit: Thanks to Bangkokrecorder for use of the image

Long-term UK gym contracts under the spotlight again

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has issued high court proceedings against Ashbourne Management Services Limited (Ashbourne), a company that administers three-year gym contracts. The core issue seems not to be the actual principle of long-term gym contracts, but a lack of transparency over cancellation terms and making consumers aware ...

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How will the Collapse of Belmont Finance Affect Small UK Gyms?

Belmont Finance (UK) Ltd, a company that has been collecting and administering membership collections since 1994 for a large number of independent health and fitness clubs, has collapsed. Belmont collected membership subscription income for up to 180 UK health clubs and small gyms. The Belmont Business Acting as a licensed bacs collections ...

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How the health club industry needs to change

Neil Gillis, the former CEO of Esporta has now left the UK health club industry to rejuvenate the fortunes of Blacks, the outdoor leisure clothing retailer. However, since his departure, he has had made some very interesting observations which I wanted to share with you. These insights from a former ...

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Is Cadbury really going to become a London 2012 Olympic sponsor?

I was not impressed to hear that London 2012 is in discussions to sign up Cadbury as a Tier 2 sponsor. The essence of the London 2012 legacy is to drive a lasting change in the nation's health and well-being. The focus is on inspiring people to move, not driving ...

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