Fitness classes saw a sharp increase in sales as UK consumers return to the gym after the lockdown, although demand for online sessions will continue after the coronavirus pandemic, experts say.
ClassPass, a company that provides access to fitness classes across the UK, announced last week that the number of new members was up 600% from the previous week as lockdown measures were eased.
The company said that while live stream reservations remained strong, two of London’s top gyms, Blok and Digme, have seen a ten-fold increase in reservations since the restart of in-person lessons, compared to digital-only reservations in the UK Previous week.
In other cities where restrictions have been lifted, returning members are taking 110% of their pre-Covid usage, Classpass said.
Despite above-average closure rates in gyms across the country during the pandemic, the fitness booking platform said its partner network in Europe had grown 12% year over year and thousands of companies had partnered with the company for the first time.
Chloe Ross, vice president of international at ClassPass said: “In the short term, many studios will continue to offer online classes, but there’s no doubt that studios and gyms are returning to face-to-face sessions.
“It is likely that some of our user base will choose a hybrid routine, do some workouts at home and temporarily return to the gym, and others will prefer to return to the gym entirely – this increased flexibility is a good thing for them Establish a long fitness habit and encourage more people to keep fit. “
It comes as consumers returned to central London gyms as lockdown measures were eased. The fitness studio network 1Rebel will open an eighth location in London at Oxford Circus in early June.
Sandy Macaskill running Barry’s Bootcamp in the UK said it had added new classes to its St. Paul’s studio in response to increasing demand.
“This is very encouraging as we only opened our studio there a few weeks before the initial lockdown, so it’s still practically a brand new studio,” he said.
“I think we’re fortunate that Barry’s is the place our customers love to travel to.
“While online workouts will stay here, I strongly suspect we’ll be training in boutique studios like Barry’s again because there is nothing that comes close online.”
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Max Henderson, founder of Hotpod Yoga, said the company was sold out the moment bookings went online: “While we saw a strong recovery in visitor numbers when we opened last year, which was relatively brief, this is by far greater dynamism. We had seen tens of thousands of book classes in the first week that bookings were open.
“This is a sure sign that people are ready and excited to come back. With the generally positive Covid news in the UK, where larger parts of the population are being vaccinated every day, it is great that that confidence is back – and rightly so. ”