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Budget 24/7 gyms have transformed Australian fitness over the past half decade

Budget 24/7 gyms have transformed Australian fitness over the past half decade
October 19, 2022

Highlighting that the performance of Australian fitness facilities over the past five years has been "volatile" - and not entirely due to the pandemic - a series of reports from market research group IBISWorld has charted a steady rise in health consciousness as supporting the fitness industry’s growth over the period from 2017.

IBISWorld's Bound to work out: Gyms and Fitness Centres in Australia study explains how the proliferation of budget 24/7 gyms has taken significant market share away from traditional full-service gyms, particularly from major players Fitness First and Jetts Fitness during the last half decade.

The study also shows the resilience of full-service gyms Anytime Fitness and Snap Fitness and their continued expansion across all states and territories, consolidating their market-leading positions.

IBISWorld Industry Analyst, Darcy Gannon explains "while the increased accessibility of 24-hour gyms is attractive to many consumers, their affordability has been the main factor driving their popularity."

However, repeating predictions made by IBISWorld in both 2018 and 2019, Gannon cautions that "the budget gym market has become increasingly saturated, with growth in membership numbers slowing and strong price-based competition pressuring operators in this segment."

Women's Gyms 
Another IBISworld report Out of breath: Women's Gyms in Australia, identifies that revenue in the female-only gym market has contracted over the past five years, primarily due to growing competition and a highly saturated fitness market, as well as reduced demand in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It identifies that “requirements for more flexible exercise time, and mixed consumer sentiment have driven many members to migrate to more cost-effective 24-hour gyms that provide cheaper memberships (while) the growing presence of ladies-only training areas in some full-service gyms has also negatively affected women's gyms, providing greater opportunities for consumers to find a comfortable workout environment.”

Consequently, industry revenue is expected to decline at an annualised 7.3% over the five years through 2021-22, to $153.9 million.

IBISWorld points to a “saturated fitness market”, with the two major players, Fernwood and Curves, sharing high market share concentration “being well- established and dominant in the industry”.

Looking forward, IBISWorld suggest that market conditions will improve over the next five years, citing “changing population demographics, including a projected increase in the number of older and overweight women”.

However, it also cautions that the market will remain saturated, as the industry's major players are present in most potential consumer markets, adding “industry operators will likely face greater competition over the next five years, particularly as some full-service gyms continue to introduce ladies-only training areas. 

“These full-service gyms can offer a potential alternative to women's gyms, while also providing extra amenities due to their larger scale.”

As a result of these factors, IBISWorld predicts that revenue in the women’s gym sector will increase at an annualised 2% over the five years through 2026/27, to total $169.9 million.

Personal Trainers
An additional IBISWorld report, IBISWorld report, Fighting fit: Personal Trainers in Australia, forecast that the market for personal training will recover strongly in 2023 and 2024, charting “rising health consciousness and a growing interest in weight-loss programs and fitness regimes” as supporting the growth.

Click here to view Australasian Leisure Management’s news item on this report from 11th October.

The latest issue of the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine, issue 152, includes a feature assessing current research and prospects for the fitness industry.

Click here to access the issue.

Click here to access IBISWorld's Bound to work out: Gyms and Fitness Centres in Australia study

Click here to access IBISWorld's Out of breath: Women's Gyms in Australia

Click here to access IBISWorld's Fighting fit: Personal Trainers in Australia

Lower Image shows Fernwood's new Fusion brand.

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2nd October 2021 - New IBISWorld study shows significant revenue decline for Australian gyms and fitness centres

17th May 2021 - Survey reveals how COVID has changed women’s fitness and diet routines

26th August 2019 - Female leaders gather for Ignite Women’s Fitness Business event

12th March 2019 - New marketing strategies needed to drive ongoing growth of 24/7 gyms

27th September 2018 - Visitor numbers and tourist spending increase while length of stays stalls

31st August 2018 - Popular Western Sydney women’s gym reopens in Bankstown

8th April 2018 - IBISWorld shows that 24/7 budget gyms have transformed Australian fitness

12th March 2018 - Australian fitness industry revenues to grow to $2.4 billion by 2022/23

10th March 2018 - Gyms and fitness centres among Australia’s most successful franchise operations

13th January 2015 - Lorna Jane launches women’s fitness challenge

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