IHRSA Global Report finds fitness industry pretty fit

IHRSA finds the health club industry is growing, which could mean good news for fitness retailers.

The fitness industry is pretty healthy, according to IHRSA’s recently released Global Report: The State of the Health Club Industry.

The report showed that, worldwide, the health club industry brought in $75.7 billion in revenue, there are 153,000 clubs and 131.7 million members of those clubs.

Though the Global Report gathers information only on health clubs, the findings could be good news for specialty fitness retailers. Generally, said IHRSA Spokesperson Meredith Poppler, the success of health club industry is mirrored by specialty fitness retailers.

“Health club members, particularly the core/frequently attending members, are very likely to be customers of specialty fitness retailers as well,” Poppler said.

Poppler added that many members of health clubs or fitness centers have sport-specific improvement goals that can only be met by supplementing their gym workouts with at-home workouts, thus fueling a need to shop at specialty fitness retailers.

“The member that wants to get in shape for surfing, climbing or biking may join the gym to lose a few pounds or improve sport-specific fitness, but will need their apparel and equipment from the specialty fitness retailer,” Poppler said.

In the North American market specifically, growth could reach 3 percent by 2014. Experts cited in the report said this is because of rising consumer and business confidence. Though it seems like a modest number, it’s a feat, experts say, to achieve growth in a time when unemployment is at 9 percent and consumer confidence has been weak.

Our annual FitBiz report showed the number of specialty fitness storefronts rose for the first time in six years. SNEWS saw the number of storefronts increased 3.3 percent in 2012, to 311 from 301 in 2011. Read our annual FitBiz story here.

Andrew Leshik, marketing manager for Leisure Fitness, said business is not at pre-recession levels yet, but is continually improving.

“It’s getting stronger every year,” Leshik told SNEWS.

The 2013 IHRSA Global Report is available here and can be purchased by IHRSA members for $69.95 and by nonmembers for $139.95.