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Deloitte report: impact of COVID-19 on the European fitness market
POSTED 30 Sep 2020 . BY Tom Walker
Accelerated digitalisation and new hybrid club models are among the pandemic's long-term impacts Credit: Shutterstock.com/insta_photos
"This research supports some optimism for the recovery and future of our sector"
– Herman Rutgers
European fitness operators will face increased consolidation, accelerated digitalisation and the new reality of creating hybrid models due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a large-scale report by Deloitte.

Published today at the European Health & Fitness Forum (EHFF), the Covid-19 Impact Study, examined the pandemic's short- and longer-term impacts on European fitness club operators.

Deloitte gathered information from European multi-site gym operators regarding various elements of their business and used the data as a basis for an assessment of the impact of the pandemic.

The report's findings suggest that, as well as the three main impacts (digitalisation, consolidation and hybrid models), the sector is also switching its focus to refinancing and building stronger balance sheets, as well as rethinking overall business strategies.

As for economics, the report – commissioned by EuropeActive – states that it is "impossible" to make accurate, long-term predictions, partly due to infections currently being on the rise across the Continent and with further lockdowns possible.

However, there is an expectation among multi-site operators that they will bounce back to pre-COVID levels 'by end of 2021'.

This is reflected in the overall confidence of major European club operators, who consider their existence to be "only partially endangered", assuming there are no further forced club closures.

None of the operators questioned for the report stated that their existence was – or will be – either "severely" or "highly threatened" over the next five years (until 2025).

“This research supports some optimism for the recovery and future of our sector which was confirmed by the positive indications from investors and analysts who committed to our larger European operators," said Herman Rutgers, the report's co-editor and EuropeActive project leader.

"It is clear that fitness must be considered as a strategic part of the solution, and not as a problem.

"We already have good data from over 20 million visits to health clubs that they are safe places to go to, with extremely low levels of traceable COVID-19 infection.”

Andreas Paulsen, executive director of EuropeActive, added: "For all parts of the ecosystem of the European fitness and physical activity sector, the past months since the beginning of 2020 have been unprecedented.

"Early on during the lockdown some industry leaders expressed that our sector was changing for good.

"Although 2020 has been incredibly demanding for our industry – indeed for most parts of society – we also saw our sector coming together like never before, in a united fashion through EuropeActive and our national association partners, to deliberate on solutions for our sector’s future, to collegially share best-practice, and to run campaigns like the #BeActive Hour."

As well as charting the long-term impacts of the pandemic, the Deloitte report offers insights into consumer confidence, membership shortfalls and the direct impact of closures on operators.

It also includes detailed overviews on individual countries and a number of selected operator case studies.

The Covid-19 Impact Study can be purchased from the EuropeActive Knowledge Centre (click here).
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NEWS
Deloitte report: impact of COVID-19 on the European fitness market
POSTED 30 Sep 2020 . BY Tom Walker
Accelerated digitalisation and new hybrid club models are among the pandemic's long-term impacts Credit: Shutterstock.com/insta_photos
This research supports some optimism for the recovery and future of our sector
– Herman Rutgers
European fitness operators will face increased consolidation, accelerated digitalisation and the new reality of creating hybrid models due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a large-scale report by Deloitte.

Published today at the European Health & Fitness Forum (EHFF), the Covid-19 Impact Study, examined the pandemic's short- and longer-term impacts on European fitness club operators.

Deloitte gathered information from European multi-site gym operators regarding various elements of their business and used the data as a basis for an assessment of the impact of the pandemic.

The report's findings suggest that, as well as the three main impacts (digitalisation, consolidation and hybrid models), the sector is also switching its focus to refinancing and building stronger balance sheets, as well as rethinking overall business strategies.

As for economics, the report – commissioned by EuropeActive – states that it is "impossible" to make accurate, long-term predictions, partly due to infections currently being on the rise across the Continent and with further lockdowns possible.

However, there is an expectation among multi-site operators that they will bounce back to pre-COVID levels 'by end of 2021'.

This is reflected in the overall confidence of major European club operators, who consider their existence to be "only partially endangered", assuming there are no further forced club closures.

None of the operators questioned for the report stated that their existence was – or will be – either "severely" or "highly threatened" over the next five years (until 2025).

“This research supports some optimism for the recovery and future of our sector which was confirmed by the positive indications from investors and analysts who committed to our larger European operators," said Herman Rutgers, the report's co-editor and EuropeActive project leader.

"It is clear that fitness must be considered as a strategic part of the solution, and not as a problem.

"We already have good data from over 20 million visits to health clubs that they are safe places to go to, with extremely low levels of traceable COVID-19 infection.”

Andreas Paulsen, executive director of EuropeActive, added: "For all parts of the ecosystem of the European fitness and physical activity sector, the past months since the beginning of 2020 have been unprecedented.

"Early on during the lockdown some industry leaders expressed that our sector was changing for good.

"Although 2020 has been incredibly demanding for our industry – indeed for most parts of society – we also saw our sector coming together like never before, in a united fashion through EuropeActive and our national association partners, to deliberate on solutions for our sector’s future, to collegially share best-practice, and to run campaigns like the #BeActive Hour."

As well as charting the long-term impacts of the pandemic, the Deloitte report offers insights into consumer confidence, membership shortfalls and the direct impact of closures on operators.

It also includes detailed overviews on individual countries and a number of selected operator case studies.

The Covid-19 Impact Study can be purchased from the EuropeActive Knowledge Centre (click here).
RELATED STORIES
EuropeActive report: digital skills 'crucial' in upskilling fitness workforce of the future


EuropeActive has released its latest information and insight paper, focusing on how digital solutions are transforming the European fitness and physical activity sector.
EuropeActive launches online learning programme for re-opening gyms


EuropeActive has launched an online practical learning programme to guide operators in the re-opening and operation of fitness facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fitness industry unites for first #BeActiveHour, including workout with Bear Grylls


The fitness industry in Europe is uniting today (30 May) to launch #beactivehour, a free one hour workout at 5.00pm CET/3.00pm GMT.
EHFF conference 2020 confirmed for 30 September


HCM can report that Europe Active's annual thought-leader conference, the European Health and Fitness Forum (EHFF), will go ahead this year alongside the FIBO trade show in Cologne.
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Gyms in Liverpool win fight to reopen after tense standoff
Gyms in Liverpool have been given the go-ahead to reopen, following a dramatic week of negotiations.
BMF pivots to franchising, puts original business through a CVA and appoints Mike Evans to drive global expansion
Be Military Fit (BMF) has completed a restructuring project, designed to transform the outdoor fitness provider from a centrally-led company into a franchise business.
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Premier Software Solutions' flagship business management system, Core by Premier Software, is the leading single and multi-site solution designed specifically for the spa, wellness and leisure industries. [more...]
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17-23 Oct 2020

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+ More diary  
 


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Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2020

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