Wellness, comfort and proximity bring members back to the gym

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The Gympass Recovery Index shows: Visitor numbers to German gyms are still below the pre-Corona data and, surprisingly, also below the figures for the reopening in summer 2020. The longer "Lockdown Light" and in some cases stricter restrictions are slowing progress in Germany. Other countries are already further ahead and the situation looks much better worldwide, as shown by the Gympass Recovery Index, which compares visitor numbers since the reopenings with the numbers before the pandemic.

Therefore the question arises: What still keeps members in Germany from visiting their gym and which forecasts do the data of the Gympass-Recovery-Index allow?

Recovery expected after the summer slump

Since June 2021, visiting a gym has been allowed again in Germany. Since then, the number of visitors has been rising continuously. According to the Gympass Recovery Index, the German fitness industry reached about half of its recovery phase in August 2021. However, the timing of the reopening was suboptimal in that it was right before the summer break. Nevertheless, the trend is positive, even if the figures are still slightly below the values from the previous year. For example, the recovery index peaked in October 2020 and was 72%. Gyms are also expected to return to full speed by the end of 2021.

Restrictions are slowing down the recovery process

The corporate wellbeing platform, Gympass, works with around 2,400 premium physical fitness facilities across the country to provide employees with access to sports and wellness activities. So far, gyms are still reporting a "handbrake pulled" by the restrictions in place, which are slowing down the recovery process in Germany. Since the end of August, the 3G rule for gyms has been in effect nationwide. Some federal states are voluntarily tightening this to 2G. However, this rule is not readily accepted by studios. Instead, the desire for voluntariness, personal responsibility and inclusivity can be heard from the market.

Gympass recovers quickly and looks positively at the market

The recovery index data are encouraging and hopeful. For example, they show that more than 85% of Gympass partners who were visited in February 2020 - before the pandemic - also received a visit in September 2021. Gympass user:ins are actually paying more visits to their studios per month this year than before the pandemic. Immediately after the closure periods, there was even an average of 1 more studio visit per user per month than before the pandemic. The urge to move is thus clear.

Wellness as a plus compared to home work-out

According to the Gympass Recovery Index, there are also positive signs of recovery in the German fitness industry. Dominant studio chains with larger facilities in particular are recovering faster, as they are able to maintain high visitor numbers even with current measures. Wellness offers such as saunas or pools additionally contribute positively to the return, as they represent a significant added value compared to home work-out.

In the future, comfort and proximity will be decisive

The fact that people have become more comfortable and that a large part of the lifestyle takes place close to home is clear from the data. For example, gyms close to home are back to pre-Corona attendance levels much faster than affiliates in central or commercial settings. The connection to the sharp increase in home offices is obvious. The resulting lack of movement is another opportunity for the industry. The hunger for movement wants to be satisfied and now that the cool seasons are approaching and outdoor sports are becoming more uncomfortable, studios can win back their users.


Image sources: KSchlott / Pixabay, Halfpoint / AdobeStock

Published on: 12 October 2021

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