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New Zealand fitness centres return to 70% activity levels

New Zealand fitness centres return to 70% activity levels
June 5, 2020

A survey from the Exercise Association of New Zealand (ExerciseNZ) shows that gyms and fitness facilities were back to 70% activity levels within two weeks of re-opening at the country’s COVID Level 2.

The nationwide post-Coronavirus reopening survey showed the number of new people keen to stay physical active at facilities was higher than many expected. However, the survey suggests trainers have been hit harder than gyms, with many reporting around barely 50 to 60% of their pre-COVID income.

Commenting on the findings, ExerciseNZ Chief Executive, Richard Beddie explains “while 70% is a solid start, it’s not enough for most facilities and gyms to survive as they have very high fixed business costs. A downturn of 30% is not sustainable for long, so all exercise facilities will be exploring options over the coming months on how to stay viable.

“The biggest challenges for gyms are their commercial leases, with almost 50% of landlords refusing to have meaningful engagement with tenants.

“While the government has made a positive step in this direction, it doesn't go far enough and it is limited to smaller workplaces. Large businesses don't have magic pots of money - the support should apply to all businesses in our view.

“City centre gyms have been hit harder than suburban gyms due to the 40% of Kiwis that are still working from home during some or all of their working week.

“The exercise industry has proven itself relatively robust through economic downturns. It grew around 1% through the global financial crisis, even though the New Zealand economy shrunk.

“But post-COVID will be the biggest challenge to the industry since it first started in the 1960s. The full effects of the economic impacts of COVID-19 are yet to hit many businesses.

“We expect the unemployment rate and hence gym memberships to see the full effects over the next three to six months.”

Images: Les Mills Auckland City Gym (top) and KPIs identified in ExerciseNZ's lastest survey (below).

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15th May 2020 - Skills Active keen to help New Zealanders get back into working and training

12th May 2020 - Exercise industry ready for Alert Level two but not business as usual

7th May 2020 - ExerciseNZ advises Parliament on fitness during alert level two

22nd April 2020 - ExerciseNZ highlights that gyms’ commercial leases need to be regulated

9th April 2020 - Key exercise bodies produce New Zealand’s biggest online fitness directory during lockdown

7th April 2020 - Two-thirds of the world’s fitness clubs are currently closed

27th March 2020 - ExerciseNZ disappointed that New Zealand Government allows delivery of alcohol and cigarettes but not exercise equipment

7th March 2020 - ExerciseNZ to celebrate role of women in fitness on International Women’s Day

25th November 2019 - Canterbury secures top New Zealand fitness industry awards

24th May 2019 - Organisers announce postponement of New Zealand Fitness Expo

3rd April 2020 - Eight out of 10 New Zealand trainers and exercise facilities now operating online

14th April 2020 - Rotorua residents commended for keeping exercise safe and local

19th February 2020 - NZREPS shares research insights into exercise and fitness trends for 2020


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