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Landlords see gyms fuel demand for retail property

Landlords see gyms fuel demand for retail property
October 21, 2018

With changing retail patterns seeing Australia's high streets going through a period of transformation, property owners who once leased space to traditional retailers are increasingly turning to gyms and studios as tenants.

Along with coffee shops, bars and restaurants, changing consumer sentiment has also seen has been a massive growth of fitness spaces in retail areas.

In a recent Blog to investors, Vincent West, Director of Raine & Horne Commercial Northern Beaches, wrote "if you’re considering acquiring a retail property anytime soon, be aware the market is shifting, and investors and owner occupiers will do well to act quickly.

"With the growth of online retailing some businesses no longer require brick and mortar addresses."

Reflecting on a trend that applies across Australia, West continues "however, like any marketplace, when one door closes another opens (and) in this case, gyms, yoga, and Pilates studios are increasingly occupying strip retail outlets on the Northern Beaches. More residents are seeking additional ways to stay healthy, and the region’s collective health kick is fuelling demand from gyms and other fitness industry providers for retail space.

Fitness concepts have emerged as being more internet-resistant than traditional retailers as, despite virtual fitness classes that be accessed from home, exercisers can’t physically work out online and gym and studios provide a range of support solutions.

In addition, there a lot of vacant retail spaces available for fitness concepts looking to expand.

Changing demand for retail space has coincided with, and even helped drive, the rise of 24/7 and 'boutique' gyms and studios, and Wise explains "landlords are courting gyms to replace anchor tenants that have left (to) help drive shopper traffic."

Malls are being impacted and are increasingly look at tenants offering experiences in their retail space, with owners looking to drive visitation against a backdrop of declining retail sales.

As well as concept based sport and entertainment stores, Mall landlords are also looking to 'third space' (the first two spaces being home and work) ventures to attract consumers.

Launching his Club W concept earlier this year, industry entrepreneur Tony de Leede (the former Chief Executive of Fitness First Australia, current Chief Executive of Wellness Solutions and Global Wellness Institute Board member) explained that ‘third space’ environments such as Club W have enormous potential in large retails environments and shopping malls.

Speaking to Australasian Leisure Management earlier this year, de Leede revealed that he negotiating with “a number of major department stores” about introducing the Club Ws within their retail space

He commented “Amazon is the enemy for these retailers. They have to look at ways to make going in-store an experience again, and that can’t rely on anything people can buy online.

“You can’t have a haircut online, or go to the cinema, or go to Club W. This is the sort of thing they’re now actively looking at.”

Lower image: Tony de Leede at the launch of the first Club W.

Related Articles

18th October 2018 - Stock market launch for Club Lime owner Viva Leisure reflects positive fitness industry performance

5th October 2018 - Urban Land Institute event explores multiple elements of ‘the business of wellness’

14th September 2018 - Barry’s launches first Australian studio

3rd July 2018 - Plus Fitness General Manager reaches 10 year management milestone

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

14th March 2018 - Tony de Leede launches Club W concept, a new ‘third space’ for women’s wellness

14th March 2018 - The ‘gym of the future’ to open at Virgin Active Barangaroo

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

15th November 2017 - Quadrant to back Timezone Group’s accelerated growth plan

20th August 2017 - Daniel Conn leaves F45 Training for Wellness Director role with the Collective Wellness Group

4th August 2017 - Collective Wellness Group energises Orangetheory Fitness in Australia

28th July 2017 - F45 becomes Australia’s fastest growing fitness studio network

13th February 2017 - World Gym announces Australian expansion plans

29th September 2016 - Quadrant expands wellness empire with acquisition of Fitness First Australia

28th September 2016 - F45 founder launches ‘Netflix’ of fitness

3rd July 2015 - Rising metropolitan land values lead to gym site sales

13th May 2015 - Fitness First opens first Melbourne High Performance Club on Collins Street

30th July 2013 - Plus Fitness appoints National Franchise Support Manager

5th February 2013 - Plus Fitness 24/7 forms retail alliance with Costco Wholesale

30th October 2012 - Snap Fitness celebrates 100th Club opening in Australasia


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