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Gloucestershire Business News

High street gym presence increases by 15 per cent in just two years

The convenience of being able to shop and work out in a single location is driving the number of gyms opening on high streets across the South West, according to Colliers International.

Colliers has identified that gyms opening in high street locations rose from 317 to 365 between 2017 and 2019, representing a 15 per cent increase in health and fitness facilities in this type of location.

Of those brands increasing their high street presence the fastest were budget gym operators The Gym, Anytime Fitness and PureGym - individually growing their portfolio sizes by 75 per cent, 32 per cent and 28 per cent respectively over the two-year period.

These types of low-cost operators have exploded onto the UK's fitness scene, arriving in a number of locations across the UK and occupying a diverse mix of premises, including former retail units, basement offices and purpose-built spaces in mixed-use developments, as well as on business, retail, and leisure parks.

Colliers' "Review of the UK Health and Fitness Market" also reveals that the South West has 29 gyms per 1 million households, with Anytime Fitness being the dominant brand.

Ross Kirton, director at Colliers International and head of UK Leisure Agency, said: "In theory, the strength of the UK's gym market could provide the perfect 'White Knight' to the ailing high street retail sector.

"However, landlords and occupiers alike must ensure that expansion is undertaken in a sustainable way that matches the right gym model with the right location and the right demographic to avoid oversupply."

Colliers' research also analysed the monthly gym spend versus the number of gyms in several key locations across the UK. The findings revealed a strong correlation between the two, suggesting people have a 'build it and they will come' mentality towards gyms in their local area.

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