Any club owner that is presently charging rather ‘flabby’ looking prices for members to visit a rather mediocre gym, please look away now. Membership at Equinox, the 8-club Danish chain is now free. Well almost free. There is a one-time joining fee of £117 (134 euros), but thereafter, use of the club remains free, so long as members visit at least once every seven days. This means that members get paid for turning up. Now that’s novel.
It is interesting how quickly the low-cost business model as pursued by airlines, hotels and grocers has infiltrated the health club industry right under the noses of industry incumbents who were shouting:
‘High property expenses and low-cost pricing just don’t work’.
So, how will the industry now respond with the arrival of yet another disruptive business model based on the now common-place ‘fremium’ digital model (think BaseCamp, MailChimp and Skype).