There is a boom in the UK leisure club industry and the provision of flooring solutions which are fit for the purpose is absolutely key, says David Carter, Sports Marketing Manager of Gerflor.
The 2018 State of the UK Fitness Industry report revealed that the UK health and fitness industry continued to experience twelve months of impressive growth with a 2% increase in total industry membership reaching 9.9 million, highlighting that one in seven people in the UK was a gym member.
The number of fitness facilities also increased by 4.6% and there was a 2.9% increase in market value. This growth was reported to be primarily driven by private sector clubs although both new public and private fitness facilities were opened.
The strength of this market positions the UK as one of the most advanced health and fitness industries in Europe and its future is looking healthy as further growth is anticipated during 2018 and beyond. In fact the winning formula of combining a country club style family experience with excellent fitness facilities has been adopted by many of the high end leisure clubs and is attributed to their rapid success. The private low cost sector is also flourishing and there remains huge potential for existing operators to expand and for new brands to enter the market.
But how many of us join a gym full of enthusiasm only to find that after a few months the idea of going for a workout has lost its appeal and making sufficient visits to justify the membership fee has become a chore rather than a pleasure? The new style leisure clubs aim to reverse this experience by not only getting members to attend more regularly but also to stay for as much time as possible. These clubs therefore boast a broader range of facilities to appeal to individuals, couples and families and which are as much about fun and lifestyle as they are about fitness.
Given the upward statistics, making fitness enjoyable rather than an endurance seems to be working for the leisure club industry. As a result, endorsing brand image and reflecting quality in terms of state-of-the-art equipment and facilities with architecturally and designer-inspired concepts, which incorporate the latest décor trends, are essential in attracting and retaining customers who might otherwise be lured by a competitive club. Like the retail sector, five year refurbishment cycles have become commonplace, which together with increasing numbers of new gyms opening annually, is giving the flooring industry opportunities to excel in providing floorings that impress.
However, by offering something for everyone, leisure clubs have an increasing need for a wider spectrum of highly decorative, high performance flooring solutions to include those best suited to the many different facilities that any one club has to offer. This includes wow-factor welcoming receptions and directional walkways, up-market bars and cafes, lounges and quiet zones, gyms with specialist equipment, training zones, exercise and dance studios, spinning rooms, racquet sport courts, spas and treatment rooms, changing rooms and childrens’ spaces such as crèches and active areas for wide ranging age groups.
Leisure club owners and managers therefore need floorings that meet the aesthetic and performance criteria necessary for the huge variety of facilities within their clubs. Beyond stunning looks, they must also be immensely practical, straightforward to clean and maintain and relatively quick to install so that existing clubs do not have to lose business during lengthy refurbishments and new clubs can open on schedule.
Given this diversity, areas within clubs with different functions can benefit from specific flooring solutions. For example, gyms often have little natural light and so a flooring design that is reflective, light and bright can lift a room and make it appear more dynamic.
Taking time out of the everyday grind of modern living and tapping into a lifestyle experience that promotes wellbeing and fitness can only be good news. For the flooring industry, leisure clubs provide the potential for specialisation and the opportunity for manufacturers and contractors to offer the product expertise needed to address the multiplicity of club facilities in terms of flooring solutions.
Gerflor have been delivering sports wellness since 1947 and are a trusted partner in the fitness world, supplying flooring solutions for all areas of a fitness facility offering users optimum safety, comfort and performance. With over 70 years’ experience Gerflor’s flooring ranges combine technical and design characteristics with stunning looks, the durable solutions stand the test of time in heavy traffic environments. This is a direct result of quality products delivering superior performance every time. The collection of sports and fitness products produced by Gerflor are the ideal solution for several key areas within any sports or fitness facility and can include aerobics and classroom areas, personalised training zones, free weights areas and fitness and cardio vascular spaces, together with reception areas and changing rooms.
Gerflor will be showcasing their full range of flooring for sports and leisure applications on stand R40 at the Elevate exhibition on 8-9 May at Excel in London.
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