Gyms & Fitness Centres in the UK Industry Market Research Report Now Updated by IBISWorld

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The Gyms & Fitness Centres industry has expanded strongly over the past decade, particularly in the five years through 2012-13, fuelled by rising disposable income levels, increasing health-consciousness and concerns about personal appearance. Industry revenue growth is forecast to return to more normalised levels over the coming five years to 2017-18 as competition from low-cost gyms and alternative fitness options such as personal trainers and boot camps emerge.

IBISWorld industry market research
Increasing obesity concerns keeps industry revenue healthy

With steady growth in gym openings and revenue increases, the Gyms & Fitness Centres industry has expanded strongly over the past decade, particularly in the five years through 2012-13. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Alen Allday, “driven by rising disposable income levels, increasing health-consciousness and concerns about personal appearance, gyms and health clubs have signed up an estimated 8.7 million gym members across the United Kingdom, which is about 17% of the adult population”. Despite a weak economy, an increasing number of people feel compelled to carry out regular exercise within gyms and fitness centres, while major sporting events such as the 2012 London Olympics, provides additional motivation.

Over the last five years industry revenue is estimated to increase at an annualised 9.5% to £1.15 billion in 2012-13, according to the UK's Office of National Statistics. This includes major increases in 2009-10 and 2011-12, as well as an estimated 8.7% drop in 2012-13 as industry revenue growth returns to a more normalised level. Although the industry is undergoing some consolidation, with major companies undertaking several mergers and acquisitions in recent years, yearly industry revenue growth has been high on average. The entry of new low-cost gyms, such as Fitspace, poses a threat to existing gyms, which already operate in a highly competitive environment.

Once-healthy profit margins have declined in the past two years, as weak economic conditions forced gyms to discount their services to maintain membership numbers. There are also signs that gyms are losing their appeal as a range of alternative fitness options emerge, including personal training and boot camps. Allday adds, “in the future, demand for gyms and health clubs will be underpinned by growing concerns about health amid rising levels of obesity in the population”. There are growing fears about the level of childhood obesity, leading some gyms to expand their programmes for younger users, designed for children as young as 11 years old. Revenue is forecast to rise only marginally over the coming five years to 2017-18, following strong growth in the previous five-year period.

The Gyms & Fitness Centres industry has a medium level of market share concentration, as the top four players together are estimated to account for over 40% of industry revenue in 2012-13. Major companies include Virgin Active, Fitness First, LA Fitness, Bannatyne Group and David Lloyd Leisure. Despite the presence of several very large players, there are still a large number of small, independent gyms operating across the country serving their local areas.

For more information on the Gyms & Fitness Centres industry, including latest industry trends, statistics, analysis and market share information, purchase the full report from IBISWorld, the nation’s largest publisher of industry research.

IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Operators in this industry provide fitness facilities, specifically gyms and health clubs. These organisations typically provide services on a membership basis, and benefits include the use of exercise equipment and weights, personal training, group classes and other club facilities.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalisation & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld
Recognised as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on many UK industries. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in London, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organisations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call (020) 3008 6568.

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Gavin Smith
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