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Fitness industry in France - statistics & facts

Struck by the coronavirus (COVID-19), the fitness industry has undergone major changes in 2020. In full development for several years in France, fitness has come to a halt after the announcement of general confinement in France on March 17, 2020. Deprived of its members, fitness operators have had to accelerate their digital transformation to handle these new restrictions and challenges.

France, a market full of opportunities

Before the COVID-19 epidemic in France, the national fitness market generated more than 2.5 billion euros in revenue. Despite the constant development between 2015 and 2019, France represented 9 percent of the European market share. Germany and the United Kingdom together accounted for 40 percent of the continental market.
There are many reasons for this gap between France and its German and British neighbors. For a long time, upscale and urban fitness clubs deprived themselves of a potential clientele because of expensive memberships. In 2006, Orange Bleue, the leader in the number of gyms in France, launched its low-cost fitness concept. By 2018, low-cost was taking over the largest number of fitness centers in France, since the operators with the largest number of gyms in France were low-cost companies.
The French leisure time was also occupied by other activities. Running and walking were the most practiced physical activities among men in France, fitness ranked fifth in 2018. Women, meanwhile, were much more attracted to fitness activities by comparison.

Sports nutrition and activewear in France

Dietetics and exercise are more and more connected in the sports world. Protein powders, far from being considered doping agents, are regarded as food supplements for gaining muscle mass and getting sufficient protein during intense physical activity. These products represented the largest market share of sports nutrition, ahead of energy drinks and bars. According to forecasts made in 2019, the French market for sports drinks will exceed 28 million U.S. dollars.
The sportswear market has also diversified in recent years. Reebok was one of the first sports multinationals to offer a range entirely dedicated to fitness in the early 2010s. In France, the majority of French women declared that they had an annual sportswear budget of no more than 75 euros.

The rise of online fitness

March 17, 2020 marks the beginning of total lockdown in France. All the fitness stores had to close their doors. Deprived of their customers and in fear of seeing them unsubscribe, the gyms introduced online courses. The French have also set up physical activity areas at home, especially women. In fact, 35 percent of women said they had taken online sports courses during their first confinement, compared to 15 percent of men.

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Fitness industry in France

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Fitness clubs and members

Sportswear and nutrition

Online fitness

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