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Flexible gym contracts improve member retention

Flexible gym contracts improve member retention
September 1, 2015

Flexible fitness club contracts which don’t require members to commit to a fixed term have been shown to be better for retention than traditional 12-month memberships, according to a report from the UK.

The mid-year Business Performance Benchmarking Insight Report from active lifestyle lobby group ukactive shows that enabling fitness club members to leave at any time actually improves retention.

Based on data from more than 600 UK fitness and recreation facilities, the report found gyms with a fixed-term minimum 12-month contract saw an average membership length of 11.2 months, whereas gyms not requiring a 12-month commitment and offering more flexible contract lengths saw an average stay of 17.2 months.

The insight helps to neatly demonstrate one of the major shifts witnessed in the UK fitness club market over the past decade. Like Australia, once dominant 'big box' gyms which relied on fixed-term membership contracts have lost a significant share of the market to low-cost operators, who generally avoid contracts in favour of rolling monthly memberships.

Jan Spaticchia, Chief Executive of fitness chain énergie Group has observed this shift, stating “énergie is in the relatively unique position of having one of its brands in the low cost sector whilst its other two brands are very much mid-market."

“There is no doubt that the low cost revolution has been a key driver for growth in the sector in recent times and we are seeing a democratisation of fitness where we are beginning to reach a broader cross section of society.”

In Australia, Jetts Fitness founder Brendon Levenson explains "no contracts, standard fees, no crowded clubs - all those things are part of clubs today.”

Click here to view ukactive's Business Performance Benchmarking Insight Report.

Image courtesy of Jetts Fitness.

14th July 2015 - ‘LISTENING TO MEMBERS’ BEHIND FITNESS FIRST’S GYMBETTER EXIT

18th March 2015 - CONSUMER NZ TARGETS GYMS AS PART OF UNFAIR CONTRACT TERMS CAMPAIGN

4th July 2014 - ACCC WARNS GYMS ABOUT ‘NO CONTRACTS’ MEMBERSHIP ADVERTISING

25th March 2014 - FITNESS AUSTRALIA RELEASES NATIONAL MEMBERSHIP CONTRACT TEMPLATE, APPOINTS NEW BOARD MEMBER 

25th November 2012 - WOMEN IN FITNESS TO EMPOWER WOMEN IN 2013


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We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

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