Big-box & Mid-box

The Giants Awake: Some Running, Some Limping Into A New World

Larger operators have enjoyed a bounce back in 2023, with new memberships, member visitations and average revenue per member, all increasing on average. For some, they are now exceeding pre-pandemic numbers, for some, they have still not found a path back to the ‘good old days’. Cost efficiencies have been found, large-scale expenditure has been scaled back, non-performing and non-core assets relinquished, and management headcount reduced and reshuffled. They are leaner, meaner machines, with margins remaining tight but not indefinitely squeezed compared to 2022. Transitions to more strength and conditioning, less cardio, revamped and fresher group exercise formats, older club refurbs, new membership models and strong PT revenue have all helped this industry growth engine restart. Excitedly, new big-box clubs are opening across the Middle East but there remains a distinct lack of new builds in APAC.

Most club owners I’ve talked to around the world say they’re still only back to 85-90% pre-covid membership levels. They’ve increased prices and cut costs to get back to profitability, but this is a trap. Customers notice the cost cuts and go looking for something better. Clubs that are investing exciting new workouts and products are getting great results. We also have a generational change with Gen Z, and with that new tastes and trends to be catered for. As always, under 30’s are by far our biggest new joiner group, and they will tend to come back to their first club over and over throughout their lives. New group workout trends are packing out classes in clubs worldwide. Don’t miss this huge opportunity!

Phillip Mills

Founder & Executive Director
Les Mills International

We have continued our rapid growth into 2023 with the opening of our 65,000 square feet Flagship Club No.3 at Madar, along with our Gymnastics Club taking our Flagship Club No1 at JVC to 100,000 square feet. Wellfit is all about large scale multi-sport fitness for adults, families, juniors, and communities. In 2024 we will continue to grow with Flagship Clubs No.4 and No.5 in our strong property pipeline. Our proposition and offering remains market leading for our segment and demographic. Driving member retention of 50% and above and being recognised in the Top 20 Great Places to Work underpins our people strategy.

Gareth Jones


Market Players