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Almost half of fitness club members end their memberships within 12 months

April 29, 2017

The Australian fitness industry’s first ever retention report shows that 48% of club members give up their membership within 12 months.

The Fitness Industry Retention Report also shows that 62% of members aged 35 or above retain their membership for at least 12 months compared to 56% of members aged 16 to 34 years.

The just released report, compiled by UK-based fitness retention academic Dr Paul Bedford, shows that members who buy a rolling one-month membership stay longer than those who buy a three of six month memberships.

Backed by Life Fitness Australia and Fitness Australia, the research is based on input from more than 800 facilities representing almost a million members.

The comprehensive report addresses membership retention issues across a wide range of areas including, gender, age and payment terms as well as looking at retention in specific business types – studios, budget clubs, women-only clubs and ‘big box’ clubs.

It also covers different payment frequencies, showing that member attrition is not affected by their payment frequency.

Commenting on his findings, Dr Bedford stated “this report offers operators not only key related statistics, but a benchmark to measure retention against.

“It will have a wider impact on the approach used to manage sales, marketing and customer service and the recruitment and training of staff.”

Life Fitness Australia Managing Director Paul McClure added “(the past decade has seen) new business models, boutique offerings, emergence of fitness franchising, market consolidation and most importantly a growth in the number of Australians using fitness facilities.

“But the question of how do we retain our members is still paramount to success.

“Using Australian industry data this report outlines crucial insights that will help shape your retention strategy.”

Life Fitness has utilised the retention information from past reports in its own strategy toward incorporating technology, programming and new product integration.

Click here for more information.

Lower image: Dr Paul Bedford speaking at the Education Hub at the 2017 Fitness Show Sydney.

​Article amended 10.30am, 1st May 2017.

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