Mou Cong, China’s first female bodybuilding world championship at the 2017 Arnold Amateur Championships.
The fitness industry has developed decades in the U.S. According to the data, the estimated market of the fitness industry In the United States was more than 25.8 billion USD in 2015.
Why People Like Fitness?
Why do people like fitness? Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has answered this question for us: After consumers can fulfill their basic necessities, like food, shelter, etc., they will try to explore fields which can increase their social status. Keeping in a good shape is one of the facts.
The Current Situation of Fitness Industry in China
With the help of the development of Chinese economy and the increase of people’s annual income, more and more Chinese have realized the importance of fitness. Although they have different purposes to exercise, such as losing weight, gaining muscle, entertainment, social, etc., the population distributes in various ages.
According to the data issued by the Bureau of Statistics of China, 383 million people have a high frequency to do fitness in China in 2014. Specifically, 51% of people, from 20 to 69, have the habit to exercise.
The population of fitness enthusiast brings the enormous market to the Chinese fitness industry. In 2015, the total market of Chinese fitness industry was $190 billion USD. In 2025, the total market is expected to be $450.45 billion USD.
With the help of this, the industry of fitness equipment has developed rapidly. The total sales volume of fitness equipment was just $1.75 billion USD in 2006; however, the number increased to $3.24 billion USD in 2014.
Two Tendencies of Chinese Fitness Industry
In 2009, there were 2,959 traditional gyms in China in total. Incredibly, the number was 4,425 in 2015. By July 2017, there were 37,627 fitness centers, however, 70.2% of which are fitness studios (26,414). In addition, online fitness Apps are impacting on traditional fitness club brands. Doing fitness at home is a new tendency.
Tendency No. 1
Fitness studios focus on one-to-one training and locate at business buildings and apartments. Due to the Chinese economy and people’s life quality are growing by leaps and bounds, Chinese people are seeking more customized training. This way, they can gain better instruction at fitness studios compare to traditional gyms.
Fitness studios have already positioned in different segment markets, like 24h open, CrossFit, cycling, yoga, boxing, etc.
But negatively, the price of a 1-hour one-to-one training class differentiates in different fitness studios. The price can vary from $45 USD to $90 USD, even higher.
Financially, the average income of the fitness studio is $28,000 USD per month. At the same time, the average income of traditional gym brands is $142,737 USD.
Although the income of traditional gyms is about 5 times as many as the income of fitness studios. It is still an unstoppable tendency.
Tendency No. 2
The Internet has strongly changed consumers’ behaviors. The rise of social media platforms, like Weibo, WeChat, and QQ (Chinese chat Apps and software), encourage people to check in to exercise and jog every day. Even, users can have match through showing how many steps they walked compare to their friends’ step numbers.
Also, online fitness Apps, such as Fittime and KEEP, allow fit people to do workouts at home through watching online fitness courses. Moreover, these Apps contract fitness celebrities and KOLs to attract traffic and users. These celebrities will interact with followers, upload fitness GIFs and live videos.
Current Situation and Tendencies of Fitness Industry in China
Online fitness Apps can also help consumers save more money. In the biggest cities of China, such as Beijing and Shanghai, the average annual fee of a gym’s membership is 525 USD. On the contrary, in the U.S., it just costs 10 USD monthly at Planet Fitness and about 30 USD per month at LA Fitness.
At the same time, the average annual income in Shanghai was 11,718 USD in 2016. Thus, the expenses of gym membership fee still occupy a high proportion of people’s annual income.
As a result, the data indicates consumers’ choices. By Q3 2016, KEEP had 16.26 million registered users and 8.323 million monthly active users. By April 2017, KEEP had 80 million registered users (The population of Germany is 82.67 million).