Behind the Scenes

Success of Smaller Studios Fuels Focus on Health Club Industry's Big Picture

We've received some good feedback on our February issue story "Health Clubs of a Different Color" that highlights a number of niche fitness facility operators who are not only making their mark in the industry but are enjoying financial success, too.

Thomas Plummer, founder of the National Fitness Business Alliance, provided a quote in our January State of the Industry cover story that really served as a precursor to that February feature. In our State of the Industry report, Plummer discussed how some businesses are "seeking a higher return per client and starting to realize you can make a lot more money with a lot fewer clients."

"The consumer is starting to, in significant numbers, gravitate toward a results-driven environment and away from a do-it-yourself fitness environment," Plummer said. "That's going to spell bad news for some of these old-style chains."

I heard some of these same ideas first-hand last summer when Plummer held one of his two-day workshop road shows in Kansas City. Perhaps those in attendance have heeded Plummer's advice and are experiencing some success of their own this year.

The interesting question that Plummer touched on revolves around how the smaller microgyms are affecting big box clubs. Be sure to check out our March cover story as we address a similar trend: personal trainers who are leaving big box clubs to open their own smaller studios.

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