The growth of the UK fitness industry
by Smithfield Agency

The UK fitness industry is experiencing a healthy post-pandemic boom. Valued at approximately £2 billion in 2024, there’s been an unprecedented influx of fitness solutions, ranging from mega gyms to boutique studios.

Major UK gym operators have capitalised on this surge, with PureGym, the country’s largest gym operator, planning to add 70 new sites this year after a 15% increase in revenues, and rival chain The Gym group accelerating its expansion plans with 50 new gyms in the works.

Diversity in fitness solutions

But it’s not just traditional gyms – they’ve been complemented by the rise of specialised boot camps, circuit training, and outdoor group sessions. Each offers unique experiences catering to different preferences and fitness levels, from high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) to mindfulness and yoga – the range of activities on offer has never been greater, broadening the appeal of getting fit to a wider audience.

The rise of one-on-one training

Boutique fitness studios have also seen significant growth. Entrepreneurs like Rachel Woolford, this year’s winner of the BBC’s ‘The Apprentice’, are expanding their business models. Woolford plans to open new locations across Yorkshire, highlighting a trend towards personalised fitness experiences, which are increasingly popular among consumers seeking something more than a standard gym.

Marketing strategies

In an ever more crowded market, effective marketing strategies are crucial. Localisation is essential for larger chains who can also leverage their power of their brand. For independent businesses, playing on their connection with their local community is key. No matter if you’ve 1 or 100 locations, here’s 3 suggestions to attract and engage your target audience:

  1. Localisation: Regardless of the size of your fitness business, your campaigns will perform better if you can provide some authentic local flavour – think landmarks and cultural references which resonate with the unique characteristics and preferences of the community.
  2. Social media advertising: Leverage the power of platforms like Facebook and Instagram and TikTok to target local demographics using sophisticated targeting options to reach potential members based on interests, such as health and fitness, and behaviours, like visiting other fitness websites.
  3. Above the line media: Don’t discount outdoor, television or radio – with new technology like DOOH, CTV and online audio it’s now possible to use cost effective targeting that was once the preserve of digital advertising. It also allows for more dynamic creative such as tailoring your messaging to the time of day – think before / after work workouts.

Contact us today to learn how we’ve helped some of the UK’s best known leisure brands grow their business.

May 10, 2024

If our Performance results have piqued your interest, get in touchto see how we can help your business growth.