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UK gyms lose £3.1 billion as a result of Coronavirus closures

UK gyms lose £3.1 billion as a result of Coronavirus closures
April 19, 2021

Fitness facilities in the UK have lost £3.1 billion (US$4.3 billion/AUS$5.5 billion/NZ$6 billion) since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, with more losses expected as a result of ongoing falls in memberships.

According to a study by Pharma Nord, another £46.6 million (US$64. 6 million/AUS$83.5 million/NZ$90.5 million) will have been lost by the 1,164,000 people who it would have expected to join in January 2021.

With gyms usually experiencing a post-Christmas membership rise (UK gyms benefit from a 12% rise in members each January), the research advised that the commencement of England's third national COVID-19 lockdown on 5th January prevented this boost,

While fitness memberships obviously vary in price, the Money Advice Service suggests that the average monthly fee is about £40 (US$55/AUS$71/NZ$77) every month.

Based on this rationale, Pharma Nord estimates that pre-COVID, the fitness facility sector would typically make £388 million (US$536 million/AUS$692 million/NZ$752 million) every month.

Overall, there has been £470,000 (US$650,000/AUS$841,000/NZ$911,000) of lost revenue per fitness club, since the first national lockdown in March last year.

England saw facilities including gyms, hairdressers, zoos and theme parks, reopen on 12th April alongside non-essential shops and outdoor hospitality venues including restaurants and beer gardens.

As reported by Yahoo Finance, like many UK leisure businesses, gyms have been battered during the Coronavirus crisis.

Many have been closed for a large portion of 2020 and for some months in 2021 as fears of spreading the virus led to widespread lockdowns. The loss of monthly subscriptions and unused investments in COVID-secure equipment such as PPE has been costly.

The revelations come following concerns from gym bosses that the larger chains incurred significant ongoing losses under lockdowns.

In January, the Gym Group (GYM.L) said that its monthly cash burn during the current COVID-19 lockdown is £5 million (US$6.9 million/AUS$8.9 million/NZ$9.7 million), while the November closures cost £6 million (US$8.3 million/AUS$10.7 million/NZ$11.6 million). The group said that 45% of last year’s trading days had been lost due to governmental restrictions.

While £300m in support was offered up for sports in the most recent budget by UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the UK Government has come under intense pressure to say what it can give to aquatic centres and exercise facilities, with the industry body ukactive saying around 400 facilities have already closed permanently and that another 2,400 are at risk.

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