January is usually a boom time for gyms, but coronavirus restrictions mean many remain closed across the US, prompting a majority (59%) of American adults to say they won’t renew their subscriptions while a trend for home-based exercise grows.

Key findings

  • That is according to a survey released last week by online broker TD Ameritrade, which surveyed around 2,000 consumers aged 24+ in March to early May 2020.
  • Respondents said they spent around $177 a month on gym subscriptions, personal training and the like, but 56% said the pandemic had enabled them to find more affordable ways to exercise and live a healthier lifestyle.
  • As reported by CNBC, TD Ameritrade attributed this shift in consumer behaviour to wider availability of cheaper fitness apps, new digital platforms – such as virtual fitness classes conducted via Zoom – and home workout equipment.
  • This chimes with a separate report in the Chicago Tribune, which found some wealthy US consumers are prepared to spend $60,000+ a year on personalised digital fitness classes – a trend that should concern traditional gym chains unless they adapt.

Key quote

“There’s [...] an element of uncertainty. Americans are likely questioning how gyms would work in the post-pandemic world. Will it be safe, will it be feasible to go?” – Molly Passantino, senior retirement specialist at TD Ameritrade.

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Sourced from TD Ameritrade, CNBC, Chicago Tribune