Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a Placer.ai account? Log In

Physical Fitness' February Recovery

by 
Ethan Chernofsky
 on 
March 7, 2022
Physical Fitness' February Recovery

While the current situation with Peloton may seem like an obvious result of the brand’s meteoric rise over the pandemic, just over a year ago it was considered fair to ponder whether physical gyms were on the path to extinction. The idea that the convenience of an at-home Peloton experience could fully replace a group workout class was without question. Yet, those of us that were slightly more bullish on the potential of brick and mortar fitness chains recognized that while connected fitness could become a bigger piece of the puzzle – omnichannel lessons from elsewhere pointed to a larger overall pie, as opposed to a zero-sum game.

The Fitness Recovery Setback

And the out-of-home fitness sector rewarded this confidence with a strong recovery. Fitness category visits were down as little as 2.8% in November of 2021 and flat in December compared to the same months two years prior. This created even more confidence heading into a critical Q1 for a segment that traditionally sees its visit peaks in the first months of the year. 

However, the Omicron wave hit at precisely the wrong time for this segment impacting the positive visit trend it had been seeing. The year over two year (Yo2Y) visit gap ballooned to 16.4% in January. Yet, as Omicron cases declined, visits again started to pick back up with February seeing the visit gap drop to just 9.6%.

Understanding the Latest Sign of Resilience

Looking at the weekly data shows the latest fitness recovery even more. Analyzing the first five full weeks of 2022 starting with the week beginning January 3rd shows an average weekly visit gap of 15.8% compared to the same weeks in 2020. Looking at the three-week period beginning with the week of February 7th shows that this decline dropped to just 5.9% on average, with the week beginning February 21st seeing just a 5.3% decline compared to the equivalent week in 2020.

And amid this recovery, some fitness chains had already returned to Yo2Y growth. Planet Fitness saw visits up 2.9% and 2.2% the weeks beginning February 7th and 21st, while Blink Fitness saw increased growth throughout the period. Those fitness chains that were still seeing declines also saw visits trending in the right direction through the period.

The Takeaways

Like the wider brick and mortar retail sector, fitness chains saw an impressive recovery in 2021. And like retail, fitness chains drove this recovery amid a narrative that digital, convenience-oriented channels would fundamentally challenge the value they provided to customers. However, the draw of the gym visit remains strong, with February visit rates proving the resilience of demand for the sector once again following an especially challenging, Omicron-affected January.

What’s to come? Should the brick and mortar fitness sector prove capable of maintaining its current trajectory, 2022 could provide the needed environment for a full recovery. But even if challenges continue to disrupt the flow of the recovery, there is ample evidence that consumer demand will remain strong.

How will the sector perform deeper into Q1? Visit Placer.ai to find out.

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Placer.ai Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Digging Into Darden: Q2 2024 Update
2024 Retail and Dining Trends Update
TRU and avid: Midscale Hotels on the Rise 
Diving Into Kroger: A Strong Start to 2024
Placer.ai Mall Index: May 2024 Recap – Mall Visits on the Rebound
Placer.ai Office Index: May 2024 Recap
2024 Memorial Day Recap
Las Vegas: A Tourism and Migration Deep Dive
Eatertainment Chains: Full on Food, Fun, and Foot Traffic
The Promise of Luxury Apparel
Catching Up With Ulta Beauty & Gap Brands
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and Five Below: Q1 2024 Treasure Troves
CAVA Still Going Strong
Driving Success: Auto Parts Chains in 2024
Checking in With DICK’S Sporting Goods
Mother’s Day Shopping and Dining Trends
Placer.ai Mall Index: April 2024 Recap – Retail Resilience Heading into Spring
Dollar Stores Still Gaining Momentum
Off-Price Apparel Chains After Q1 2024: Demographics in the Balance
Walmart, Target, and Wholesale Clubs Continue to Thrive
Home Improvement and Decor Check In
Placer.ai Office Index: April 2024 Recap – Recovery Continues
Movie Theaters in Q1 2024: A Preview of Coming Attractions?
Let’s Get Physical: Fitness In 2024
Where Are Workers Returning to Office in 2024?
2024 Wins: Sweetgreen & First Watch on the Rise
A Full-Service Turnaround: Bloomin’, Dine, and Texas Roadhouse
Wendy’s and Denny’s: Breakfast and Late Night Dining Drives Success
Coffee Chains: Q1 2024 Update and What’s Changed Since COVID
Checking in with RBI and YUM!
Chipotle & McDonald's Serving Up Success
Wingstop & Shake Shack Continue Growing Their Reach 
Strong Start for Sprouts in 2024
Crocs’ Footwear Fairytale
Who Attends NCAA Final Four Events?
Eclipse Fever: How Did the (Retail and Hospitality) Stars Align?
Exploring Albertsons Companies’ Grocery Growth
Placer.ai Mall Index: March 2024 Recap – Malls Rise Again
Placer.ai Office Index: March 2024 Recap
Florida Spring Break Break-Up? Travelers Still Love Florida!
Provo-Orem and Ogden-Clearfield Emerging As Utah Hotspots 
Three Formulas for Experiential Retail in 2024
Aldi & Lidl Making The Cut
Texas Suburbs on the Rise
Exploring Luxury Hotel Brands’ Guest Segmentation
The St. Patrick’s Day Effect
How Can JOANN Make a Comeback?
Panera Bread Well Positioned for Possible IPO
Who Will Benefit From Family Dollar’s Downsizing?
Dave & Buster’s and Main Event Entertainment: Food and Fun for Everyone
Darden Brands: Location Analytics and Consumer Behavior
Nike and lululemon: a Strong 2023, Sprinting into 2024
Where Is Retail and Dining Foot Traffic Thriving in Early 2024?
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – February 2024
Three Retail & Dining Chains That May Surprise in 2024
Specialty Discount Chains Rock Retail Therapy
Placer.ai Mall Index: February 2024
Placer.ai Office Index: February 2024 Recap
Ulta Beauty Continues To Shine
First Watch Sails Into 2024
Hibbett Sports and DICK’S Sporting Goods: A Psychographic Analysis
Checking in With Discount & Dollar Stores
Peeking Behind The Curtain: Movie Theaters in 2023 and Beyond
Diving Into Brick-and-Mortar Eyewear
Getting Into Gear: Exploring The Auto Part Industry
Recapping Valentine’s Day 2024 Foot Traffic Trends
Fitness: A Strong Start to 2024
Dutch Bros. Continues To Percolate Visits
Super Bowl 2024: Placer.ai’s Postgame Foot Traffic Analysis
CAVA & sweetgreen Are On the Rise
Hats Off For Off-Price
Who Is Shopping at Malls?
Drilling Down Into Home Improvement
Walmart, Target, Costco & Superstore Space 2023 Recap
Catching Up With Shake Shack and Wingstop
Something To Chew On: Demographic Shifts at Steakhouse Chains
Placer.ai Office Index: Looking Back at 2023
Recapping RBI & Yum! Brands’ 2023 Foot Traffic Performance
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – January 2024
Who Shops at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters?
Three Taco Chains to Watch in 2024
Starbucks and Dunkin’: 2023 in Four Data Points
Who Visits CVS and Walgreens?
Fashionably Frugal: Apparel in 2023
Catching Up With Fast Food
The Grocery Sector in 2023: An End-of-Year Recap
3 Mall & Shopping Center Trends for 2024
Bakery Chains Rising To The Top
Placer.ai and Esri Partner to Deliver Geospatial Analytics
Tampa Tourism Trends
Going For The Green: The Changing Dynamics Of Country Clubs
Christmas Day Dining Recap
Major Urban Shopping Districts – Holiday Season Recap
Placer.ai Office Index: December 2023 Recap
Recapping the 2023 Holiday Shopping Season
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – December 2023
7 Retail & Dining Segments to Watch in 2024
Diving Into Holiday Season Favorites
Super Saturday and Christmas Eve Eve: A Winning Combination
3 Budget Grocery Chains Finishing 2023 On a High Note