Posts filed under “Opinion”

Letter to the Editor of Club Business International magazine

As the boundaries of the health club industry are re-drawn, so it becomes necessary for all its diverse range of stakeholders to pause and reflect on how it will continue to create meaningful value. Recently, I attended the IHRSA European Congress which each year takes part in a different city. This ...

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Gold’s Gym comment for Dallas Business Journal

Recently I was contacted by the Dallas Business Journal who were working on a Gold's Gym article. These were my observations of the Gold's brand: What are Gold’s Gym’s strengths in the U.S. and international fitness industries? Ray Algar: You have to admire its longevity given the reaching of its recent 50-year ...

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Independent clubs need laser focus to compete with low-cost gyms

IHRSA contacted me recently to provide some comments on Flourish, the event I created for independent health and fitness clubs. What follows is an excerpt from the interview as part of their Europe Insight series: The United States and the United Kingdom have a lot in common, from our shared language to our shared ...

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Taking a forward look at the health club industry for 2017

Recently I was invited to contribute to Health Club Management's 2017 Handbook. A number of health and fitness industry commentators were asked to focus on a single theme for the coming year. I chose the importance of reputation: The health club industry was built with a focus on the tangible experience; ...

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Ray Algar discusses change in the health club industry

Recently I was interviewed for the Australian Fitness Business Podcast about the research I have been undertaking as well as the ongoing mission of Gymtopia. During the thirty-minute show, we discussed:     The two fundamental strategic paths that fitness brands are now pursuing. The rise of fitness substitutes. The November fitness project. ...

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I was wrong about Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards

Last night I watched the film about Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards. For those that don’t know, Edwards is a British ski jumper who competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Canada and finished last in both the 70-metre and 90-metre events. He became the first British athlete since 1929 to ...

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The future of mid-market health clubs

Health Club Management magazine contacted me recently to discuss a feature they were writing on change in the health club mid-market. They were asking this question: 'For the past decade, since the advent of low-cost clubs, there’s been talk of the mid-market disappearing. These clubs are still hanging on, but ...

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Health club industry prediction for 2016

What might the coming year bring for the fitness and physical activity sector? Independent clubs comprise half of the UK private sector but I believe their long-term role is being fundamentally challenged. Last year independent clubs accounted for three in every four clubs that went out of business. Those that closed ...

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Leisure Industry Week Presentation by Ray Algar

Below is a copy of the presentation I delivered at Leisure Industry Week in Birmingham during September 2015. The presentation theme was looking at how the health and fitness industry is evolving and how a wide range of fitness substitutes are challenging legacy clubs.   Jak Phillips from the Leisure Media Company ...

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Comment on Pure Gym buying LA fitness

On May 29th 2015 came news that Pure Gym was buying LA fitness, subject to approval from the Competition and Markets Authority, the competition regulator. Of all the potential buyers including Fitness First, Sports Direct and Terra Firma, I was surprised on hearing this news. Fitness First was seen as ...

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