The fitness industry is booming in China as the Chinese middle-class have become more interested in maintaining a healthy and aspirational lifestyle. On the one hand, the number of physical fitness studios has been surging, especially in the first tier cities where annual membership fees can be as high as 6,000 yuan. On the other hand, fitness apps have seen high numbers of downloads and app usage has been fueled by social distancing due to COVID-19 pandemic across the country. Under the changing lifestyle of consumers along with technology advancement, the fitness industry has to adopt innovative ideas to cater for the efficiency and convenience preferences among the Chinese white collar population.
Why are fitness clubs booming?
According to a market estimation, there were nearly 100,000 fitness studios in China, with a massive amount operating in more developed provinces. As the largest markets for gyms, Beijing and Shanghai are often the first trial cities for fitness studio brands with innovated concepts. However, the growth of fitness clubs in second-tier cities has been more significant partly because of lower rental and labor costs and more attractive membership packages. Currently, the fitness industry is still quite fragmented with various gym operators and types of services. While big chains like Zhongtian Fitness and LEFIT are still expanding, smaller boutique gyms which focus on individual fitness training for specific groups have become increasingly popular. Many young Chinese workout enthusiasts are willing to spend more in these boutique studios to achieve their health and fitness goals.
Online fitness is the game changer
The coronavirus pandemic has caused large scale business closures in China, it comes as no surprise that physical fitness clubs have been struggling to survive. Furthermore, the trend for home exercise accelerated during the lockdown periods and will very likely continue after the pandemic, posting a long term challenge for physical gyms. Sports apps such as Keep, Codoon, and Mi Fit have been well received among millions of online fitness users in China. App users can easily get training tips, find online fitness courses, and get connected with other fitness enthusiasts and professional trainers via their smartphones.
The fitness industry market outlook
In the coming few years, technology will continue to reshape China's fitness market. Fitness studios with high-tech apparatus were expected to be more competitive in the market, while less qualified trainers will face pressure from their customers who can get professional information from various online channels. In addition, the consumption of high-tech sportwear and wearable devices was projected to rise. Market observers predicted that the fitness industry in China would integrate online services and offline operations to provide more personalized, convenient, and goal-oriented offers.
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In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 26 most important statistics relating to "Fitness industry in China".