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Fitness Centers in China: Adapting the Demand of Chinese Consumers

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Fitness Centers in China

Fitness Centers in ChinaOver the past 20 years, Chinese fitness centers moved from wealthy people’s trend to an essential for all. As the living standard for Chinese people increase, people are more concerned with their health.

China’s fitness center begin late, starting around the late 80s century. Larger cities in China, such as Beijing and Shanghai first started to develop. In the recent years, China’s fitness centers are becoming more mature and are more focused on their brand image and brand value. As the number of fitness centers increase in China, different centers are targeting different segment of clients. The segments are usually separated into three categories, high-end, middle-class and more cost efficient to suit different clientele. Due to the increase on disposable income among the Chinese, they are more concerned with their health, therefore the demand for fitness centers are increasing. The number fitness centers increased from 300 in 2001 to over 16 000 in 2015.


Fitness Industry in China - Graph

Popular Fitness Centers in China

WILL’S Fitness (威尔士)

WILL’S Fitness is a community-based high-end fitness center. It emphasis on convenience and practicality. Their choices of locations are very convenient for surrounding residents. It stresses on open space and maximizing the use of good scenery to bring comfort to members will working out. It offers personal training areas, such as the boxing zone and stretching zone.

Tera Wellness Club (一兆韦德健身)

Tera Wellness Club vigorously promotes environmentally friendly and a more fashionable fitness style. With advanced management concepts and rich industry experience, it has become one of the industry’s fastest growing fitness chains.

 CSI (China Sport Industry) – Bally Total Fitness (中体倍力)

CSI–Bally Total Fitness was the joint venture of China Sport Industry Ltd. and Bally Total Fitness (U.S.A). It is the only listed company that is under the holding of the State Sports General Administration.

 Nirvana Fitness (青鸟健身)

 Nirvana Fitness is China’s first chain fitness center. It is one of the high-end fitness centers in China and is rated as a five star fitness center by the State Sports General Administration.

Hosa Fitness (浩沙)

Originated in Hong Kong and launched in mainland China around the end of 1970s. Thought its advanced international management system and courses, it launched several chain stores in China. It promotes happy, fashionable and healthy work out culture.

Physical (舒适堡)

Physical is another Hong Kong originated brand. Until now, it has launched over 45 physical stores in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. It is known for bodybuilding and bodyline sculpture. In the recent years, as the workout trend in China follows this, it has been one of the most popular fitness centers in China.

 King Sport (金仕堡)

King Sport is a workout, leisure and entertainment combined fitness consulting company. It introduced many worlds’ top workout equipment such as Startrac, Johnson, Matrix, etc. Most of its stores include weight rooms, aerobics zones, swimming pools, etc. and also leisure centers such as internet bars, movie zones, saunas and child-care zones.

Yoga and Dance Sessions are More Popular in China

Yoga industry in ChinaThere is a major difference between the way Chinese people workout and the way western countries (such as Americans) workout. A typical Chinese fitness center located in Shanghai CBD area have more group sessions on different types of Yoga and Dance classes. This means the demand and popularity of such classes are relatively high. On the contrary, an American fitness center located in New York CBD area have more Cardio sessions such as cycling session. Even though there are Cardio and Bodybuilding session in Chinese fitness centers, there are not as many demand as sessions on Yoga and Dance.


Less than 5% Members Regularly Workout

In a fitness center in Beijing, the subscribed number of members are around 7000, however there are only about 300 people how regularly come. In comparison to the subscribed number of members, the number of people that regularly exercise are still in the minority, and the majority of the regulars are people with a flexible work time. According a trainer in the store, over 60% of the people are subscribed in the center are targeted to loss weight and only about 30% are exercising for a stronger and healthier body.

Overall, even though the fitness centers in China are booming, there are still improvement areas. The exercise equipment is new and fancy but the associated services are not at the matching level. Some centers are not as user friendly, they may have a large number of exercise equipment and a big space for exercising, but the associated rest and shower facilities do not match.

How Daxue Consulting Has Helped its Client

Daxue Consulting has developed methodologies for companies entering China’s market. Daxue has helped his client in the fitness industry defining a clear strategy for its expanding in China. To understand more fully the market in this specific and mature market, Daxue Consulting has delivered the client a robust and clear business plan in China regarding the client’s business objectives and vision.  Daxue Consulting supplemented this business plan research with focus groups and market survey in 1st tier city in China.

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