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The European Health & Fitness Sector: A Resilient Comeback in 2023

As e-commerce professionals, we're always keen on market trends and consumer behavior. The latest European Health & Fitness Market Report (EHFMR) for 2024, jointly published by EuropeActive and Deloitte, offers some compelling insights into a sector that's increasingly intertwining with digital commerce.

The European Health & Fitness Sector: A Resilient Comeback in 2023
Source: Depositphotos

Let’s break down the numbers

Memberships surged by 7.5%, adding 4.7 million new members to reach a total of 67.6 million by the end of 2023. This growth not only represents recovery but surpasses pre-COVID levels.

Revenue figures are equally impressive, with a 14% increase bringing the total to €31.8 billion. Again, this exceeds the record set in the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

The fitness club landscape saw a modest 1.4% growth, now totaling almost 65,000 facilities across Europe.

Market Leaders and M&A Activity

Basic-Fit leads the pack with 3.8 million members and €1,047 million in revenue. RSG Group and PureGym follow in membership numbers, while David Lloyd and PureGym round out the top three in revenue.

The top 20 operators collectively grew their membership by 13% to 17.4 million and increased revenues by 19% to €6.2 billion. 12 major M&A transactions in 2023 underscore continued investor confidence in brick-and-mortar fitness businesses.

Source: Depositphotos

Market Penetration and Growth Potential

Fitness club memberships now represent 8.4% of the total population and 10.1% of the 15+ demographic. These figures hint at substantial room for growth, a key consideration for e-commerce strategies targeting this sector.

Consumer Behavior Insights

The report includes findings from a large-scale consumer research study involving 11,000 participants across 19 countries. The data confirms the staying power of “hybrid” or “omni fitness” models, a trend that’s particularly relevant for e-commerce platforms serving this industry.

Looking Ahead

Herman Rutgers, EuropeActive Ambassador and co-author of the report, expresses confidence in reaching 100 million health & fitness center members by 2030. This ambitious target suggests a continued expansion of the market, presenting opportunities for e-commerce marketing businesses operating in or adjacent to the fitness sector.

For those of us in e-commerce marketing, these findings underscore the importance of understanding offline fitness trends and their impact on online consumer behavior. As the lines between digital and physical fitness experiences continue to blur, staying attuned to these market dynamics will be crucial for success in the evolving health and fitness e-commerce landscape.

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