Are Commercial Gyms Closing Because of COVID-19?
This entry was posted on June 11, 2020.
Months after the coronavirus became a global crisis, several business industries were left reeling.
Like tourism and aviation, the fitness industry was amongst the worst hit by this pandemic in terms of revenue and job losses.
Valued as a $94 billion industry in 2018 and was projected for steady growth over succeeding years, the fitness world took a turn and stumbled in 2020.
With social distancing and other measures still in place in the US, commercial gyms were forced to close or scale down operations.
Are Commercial Gyms Closing for Good?
When US health officials encouraged social distancing measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, going to the gym to get fit seemed like not the best option.
In fact, some states have ordered temporary closure of establishments which included fitness gyms.
Meanwhile, at the onset of COVID-19 cases increasing, gym chains took the initiative to close some of their facilities for a month or so.
But as the battle against the virus raged on, reopening of every commercial gym looked uncertain.
Gym owners whether big or small are taking huge losses daily, struggling to keep permanent closure at bay. But some had it worse.
Gold’s Gym and 24-Hour Fitness, with millions of memberships and hundreds of gyms worldwide, had reportedly planned to file for bankruptcy in May as they try to stay in business.
Likewise, local gyms were not exempted from the economic impact of coronavirus.
But despite the unclear fate of these fitness centers, they remain optimistic and are still eager to reopen.
What Fitness Gyms are Doing to Prevent Coronavirus
To regain the trust of their members, most fitness gyms have put in place their own rules and measures.
This is to assure that fitness enthusiast are kept safe and protected from the spread of the virus.
- Gym facilities have stepped up their hygiene and cleaning measures. They require their members to do handwashing before and after workout. Anytime Fitness, one of the biggest gym chains in the United States, is implementing a protocol of thoroughly cleaning their centers including the equipment every 2 hours. The chain is also disallowing sharing of equipment.
- Like in any establishment, social distancing is implemented and observed in commercial gyms. One measure that Planet Fitness considers to do to promote this is by unplugging some cardio equipment to make spaces in between treadmills.
- Some gyms limit the number of members per certain period of time. They are making use of technology and social media to implement a reservation system.
- Apart from having a reservation system, most centers have strengthened or implemented a ‘no contact’ or digital check-in policy. This is to avoid direct contact with anyone.
IHRSA has listed 18 pointers that commercial gyms are mostly implementing already.
The Rise of Commercial Gym Equipment Sales.
Although gyms have assured their members that it is safe to visit their facilities, some have opted to do home workouts in the meantime.
This has resulted in an unprecedented spike on the demand for commercial gym equipment.
Sales of gym equipment, particularly treadmills, dumbbells and plates (which are all available for purchase here at Fitness Expo Stores) have increased within the year.
The surge is particularly observed in online stores.
According to Adobe Analytics, there was a 55% increase in these sales from January to March. And the demand is seen to have increased further in the succeeding months.
What is in Store for the Future?
The fitness industry has seen a lot of changes in order to adapt in the ‘new normal’ that the pandemic has caused.
Some changes that may or may not be permanent still hang in the horizon as new developments on the virus come every now and then.
And while doing home exercises can be great, there is something about visiting the gym and seeing people who want to stay fit like you that makes it more special.
Commercial gyms are probably here to stay.