Fitness chains exercise design

The recent spate of design projects spawned by the keep fit industry looks set to continue, with around 300 new centres planned for the next three years and a period of consolidation expected to follow.

A new report from stockbroker Greig Middleton says demand far outweighs supply in the keep fit sector. It predicts the market will mushroom into a 1.5bn industry in the next five years.

The forecast follows a period which has seen design groups heavily involved in the branding of new keep fit concepts.

Clinic is working on Virgin Active, a ten-strong 50m chain for Virgin Group. The first is due to open next March in Preston (DW 1 May).

Clinic account director Sam Evans says the consultancy aims to differentiate the new brand from the largely homogenous formats currently occupying the sector. She says it aims to be more humourous, friendlier and less judgemental than its competitors.

Meanwhile, BDS Gibb is creating the interiors and architecture for Next Generation, a new leisure club concept for client Scottish & Newcastle.

Earlier in the year Granada Health & Fitness introduced a new health club format named Spirit, with branding and interiors by The Principals (DW 6 February).

Greig Middleton’s report also predicts a period of consolidation in the industry.

“The major multiple operators account for just a quarter of the market and, as they exploit the advantages of economies of scale and their financial muscle, the smaller independents will come under increasing pressure,” says a Greig Middleton spokesman.

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