The recovery challenge
After nearly 4 months of lockdown, opening venues safely was just the first hurdle. One which, by all accounts, has been successfully cleared.
Now the industry faces the new and ongoing challenges of increased operating costs, adapting to social distancing guidance, and understanding the impact of permanently lost memberships bases on revenue.
Jamie’s experience and positioning in the industry gives us the unique insight we need. From his experience at Nuffield Health, Virgin Active, and LA fitness to his current connections here at Hussle, he’s got the full picture when it comes to understanding what’s going on in the industry. Jamie has spent the last month hosting roundtable discussions with a range of operators from across the sector to get their candid views and indicative performance data since re-opening.
Social distancing measures are, of course, extremely important. But keeping that minimum distance between attendees causes a capacity issue. This means a decrease in the maximum number of people that are able to be in one venue at any one time.
This is the conundrum facing almost all operators in the sector. It’s about balancing the need to get more people through the door to support recovery whilst ensuring capacity limitations are not breached. Trying to sign up more members whilst managing a safe and high-quality user experience creates a new challenge.
That maths has now gone out of the window. As we know, it’s the more frequent members who have returned so eagerly to the gym. Those people are of high value to gyms and their membership remains stable. The less frequent members are the ones who have canceled their memberships or are yet to renew. Then you throw a severely reduced capacity limit into the mix and that’s a new normal that needs to be navigated.