Gym spend continues to rise

The UK gets into shape as spending on gyms continues to rise.

Reports of the death of the gym – as people apparently switch to cycling, running outdoors or yoga – look like they’ve been greatly exaggerated.

In fact, the nation’s obsession with the gym shows no signs of slowing, as spending on memberships increased by a staggering 44% during the past 12 months.

Over the past few years, ‘value chains’ such as Pure Gym & The Gym Group have shaken-up the sector, offering reasonably priced memberships & scrapping cumbersome contracts.  As a result, this part of the market has seen membership spend rise collectively by 66%.

However, the story doesn’t end there.  After being forced to raise their game, the mid & top-tier chains have also performed well, with an increase of 22% & 14% respectively.

Should we be surprised by the increase?  No, not really.

In the US, gym membership stands at 20% of the adult population.  In Germany & Sweden it’s higher at 25%.  In the UK, that figure is just 13% – so there’s plenty of room for growth.  Indeed, according to Mintel, nearly four-fifths of UK adults have set themselves at least one health & fitness goal.

In addition, the report published by Cardlytics, which monitors spending on 5.5 million debit cards, paints a picture of a growing number of gym-goers, who spend more money across the board.

For example, spending on eating out increases by 15% during the first eight weeks of consumers being active at the gym.  In the first week of gym membership, consumers spend 34% more at fashion retailers, whilst supermarkets see an overall 11% increase in spending.

The report concludes that a gym membership “can lead to higher levels of spending across the board on social activities, new clothes & healthier products”.

What does this all mean for advertisers?

First – it’s clear that UK retailers across the country are benefiting financially from a focus on fitness.  The UK’s love affair with fitness isn’t going away anytime soon, so why wouldn’t you want to at least consider tapping into this established trend?

Second – the number of gym advertising opportunities has increased rapidly in recent years.  Whether it be utilising a state-of-the-art digital poster, sponsorship a class, tapping into social media assets or even trialling product sales via vending machines, there’s an innovative & effective solution for almost any brief.

At Boomerang Media, we pride ourselves on delivering advertising campaigns with passion, which in turn drive great results.  Let us help your brand exploit the burgeoning health & fitness marketplace.


Dan Photi, Boomerang Media