Health clubs face the constant challenge of membership churn. One way to improve membership retention is to offer more products and services. The sports nutrition and weight loss (SNWL) product category fits well with the general purpose of health clubs and revenue from these products can boost the bottom line. A recent article in Club Industry points out that more fitness centers may turn to the SNWL product category as a way to improve service to club members.
Currently, health clubs and practitioners sell about $480 million in SNWL products. This level accounts for 2.3% of the total SNWL industry revenues which hovered around $20.8 billion at the end of 2008. Health clubs typically offer energy drinks and nutrition bars to members. This strategy means they are missing out on revenue from items such as sports and weight-loss supplements. Michele Bell Figueroa, president of mPower Solutions LLC, Palo Alto, CA notes that “ [t]here is really an untapped revenue source if it's done by someone who understands individual supplementation.”
Industry experts agree that the keys to success include a few important details:
Product placement – Clubs should sell items such as meal replacements or energy drinks at the front desk or another highly visible area such as a small café.
Staff education – Consumers can determine what they want in fitness products by reading information online. Clubs should train staff members to answer questions and make recommendations to their clients.
Marketing material – Health club clients can benefit from brochures placed at the front desk or from a direct mail piece that discusses sports nutrition and weight management programs.
January marks one of the busiest times of the year when it comes to new client enrollment at health clubs. Clients might be more likely to continue memberships that come with enhanced benefits such as nutrition counseling. The best way to educate and inform clients of all their options is to increase marketing programs.[Source: Bloyd, Stephanie. Sports Nutrition Often a Missed Revenue Opportunity. Club Industry. 12.1.09]