There are more than 36,000 health clubs, gyms and fitness centers in the U.S., and major markets have seen growth at a rate of 2.8 percent since 2013. But what does the future of the retail fitness industry look like? Many believe, as an internet-resistant sector, the future looks bright for fitness centers and gyms. And while that may prove true, growth in the next five to 10 years may look a bit different than what we’ve witnessed in the last decade. Here are some trends to watch for:
Fewer freestanding locations: As the retail sector continues to take hits from companies downsizing or going out of business, landlords of shopping centers and regional malls with vacant junior and big-box anchor stores are looking to make a deal. Gyms and fitness centers—especially the smaller chains and boutique formats—have been able to capitalize on lower rents as landlords scramble to not only fill empty space, but also help drive traffic to other stores within their centers. As larger fitness chains look to expand their footprints, it’s not unreasonable to think that even the brands that favor a free-standing format might consider an in-line or anchor space if it means significant rent savings.
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