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  • Roger Yao

Fitness Equipment Industry Weekly News – W45

Updated: Nov 13, 2023

2023-1-4

Fitness equipment news


1. Matrix Fitness and Énergie Fitness Forge Strategic Alliance for Iberian Expansion


Matrix Fitness and Énergie Fitness, a gym franchise chain in the United Kingdom, have announced the signing of a strategic commercial agreement to strengthen the franchise's presence in the Iberian Peninsula.


Matrix Europe market

This groundbreaking agreement between Matrix Fitness and Énergie Fitness signifies a pivotal milestone in their collaboration. Its core purpose is to drive the growth of the franchise in Spain and Portugal, empowering franchisees with access to Matrix Fitness's premium equipment, expert guidance, cutting-edge digital solutions, and exceptional pre-sales and after-sales support.


As part of this partnership, Matrix Fitness will extend exclusive privileges and priority access to its innovative range of fitness equipment and solutions to Énergie Fitness. Both companies will collaborate closely to design tailored training programs for Énergie Fitness center staff.


The primary goal of this synergistic endeavor is to facilitate the expansion of Énergie Fitness by offering top-tier equipment and fostering mutually advantageous relationships.


Matrix Fitness will offer expert product recommendations to franchisees to assist them in selecting equipment that aligns with their unique needs and preferences. By working hand in hand with Énergie Fitness, they aspire to consistently provide the most advanced fitness solutions available, delivering a distinctive fitness experience to their clientele.



2. Huawei Establishes Health Lab in Helsinki for Wearables and Fitness Research


Tech powerhouse Huawei has inaugurated its Health Lab in Helsinki, Finland, with a focus on advancing health and fitness support for wearable device users through research.


Huawei wearable fitness

The state-of-the-art facility is equipped with over 20 types of sports equipment and will be led by a versatile scientific research team. This multidisciplinary team includes six doctors in science and 20 experts spanning physiology, AI, machine learning, software testing, and software engineering.


The lab comprises five major test areas, encompassing a counter-current pool, a ski simulator, versatile and instrumented treadmills, and an open gym area featuring various cardiovascular equipment. Notably, the treadmill is capable of testing a wide range of activities, including running, cycling, wheelchair racing, and more, with adjustable speeds of up to 50km/h. It can also import GPX data from GPS devices to simulate real-world terrains and routes.


Collectively, these five test areas are capable of simulating conditions for more than 20 sports, while tracking 200 physiological and biomechanical indicators. Researchers will leverage these facilities to conduct comprehensive testing and monitoring of Huawei wearable devices, including the Watch GT 4.



3. Apple Fitness+ and Anytime Fitness Partner for Enhanced Wellness Experience


Apple is joining forces with Anytime Fitness to provide a seamless integration of digital and physical fitness. Starting December 1, all Anytime Fitness members in the US and Canada will gain complimentary access to Apple Fitness+. In an effort to attract new members, those trying Anytime Fitness on free trials will enjoy up to three months of Apple Fitness+ at no additional cost.


Anytime fitness Apple Fitness+

Conversely, Apple Fitness+ users who become Anytime Fitness members and commit to a minimum 13-month subscription will receive their first 30 days free. This collaboration will be facilitated through the Anytime Fitness app.


Jay Blahnik, Vice President of Fitness Technologies at Apple, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, emphasizing that Apple Fitness+ was designed to cater to users at various stages of their fitness journey, whether they prefer working out at home or in a gym.


Stacy Anderson, President of Anytime Fitness, highlighted the potential for personalized fitness plans and the integration of Apple Fitness+ content within the Anytime Fitness app.


Apple Fitness+ offers a broad range of workouts and meditation sessions, spanning 12 different types, including HIIT, strength training, treadmill workouts, rowing, cycling, and yoga, with durations from five to 45 minutes.


Chuck Runyon, Co-founder of Anytime Fitness and CEO of Self Esteem Brands, noted that their goal is to support people worldwide in their pursuit of healthier lives by providing comprehensive fitness and wellness solutions. This partnership aims to reach and improve the physical and mental well-being of a broader audience seeking personalized health assistance.



4. Piscina & Wellness Barcelona Show Reintroduces Wellness Experience for 2023


The upcoming Piscina & Wellness Barcelona show, taking place from November 27 to 30 at Fira de Barcelona, is set to feature the renowned Wellness Experience once again. This fully operational wellness center will serve as a showcase for the latest equipment, treatments, and activities in the wellness sector.


Piscina wellness Bracelona show

The Wellness Experience space at the event will include various amenities, such as saunas, spas, whirlpools, a fitness area, and cabins for demonstrations of natural therapies, massages, and virtual reality experiences. Additionally, a central pool will be transformed into a thalassus, filled with revitalized seawater.


The wellness sector and wellness centers have witnessed substantial growth in recent years, continually innovating to enhance people's quality of life, health, relaxation, and overall well-being. The Piscina & Wellness Barcelona show, organized by Fira de Barcelona and the Spanish Association of Professionals in the Swimming Pool Sector (Asofap), has consistently hosted its own Wellness center since 2015, aligning with this trend.


Notably, for the 2023 event, the aquatic facilities of the Wellness Experience and all the pools showcased will be filled with seawater, treated and vitalized by the company MásQue Iniciativas. After the show, this water will be collected and reused in other pools, a decision made in consideration of environmental sustainability and weather conditions, as explained by the show's director, Ángel Celorrio.


Celorrio emphasizes, "In this space, we aim to spotlight the latest trends and innovations while showcasing the diverse business opportunities that wellness centers can provide, rooted in the care of people and environmental responsibility."



5. Brooklyn Fitboxing Celebrates 200 Gyms Globally with Milan Opening


Brooklyn Fitboxing, the non-contact boxing center chain, has achieved a significant milestone by opening its 200th gym worldwide, located in Milan. This accomplishment positions Italy as its second-largest market, boasting nine gyms, with plans to unveil two more by year-end. Milan is set to become a flagship city for the company, standing shoulder to shoulder with Madrid and Barcelona in terms of store count, and rivaling cities like Valencia and Seville.


boxing equipment club

With sixteen more openings scheduled for November and December, the year is expected to close with between 210 and 215 active gyms across the globe. The chain's expansion plans also include upcoming locations in Granada, Tenerife, and Malaga, with centers in Torre del Mar and Benalmádena in the works. In the Spanish market, particular attention is being paid to Catalonia, especially in the province of Tarragona.


Brooklyn Fitboxing's CEO, Juan Pablo Nebrera, shared the company's ambitious growth plan, aiming to reach 500 open units within five years.


On the international front, the brand has its sights set on two more gyms by the end of 2023: one in Germany (Berlin) and another in France. The company's journey extends to Brazil in the near future, representing the next step in its global expansion.


Nebrera highlights the need for reinvestment in international structures to facilitate growth, emphasizing that the path to internationalization requires substantial commitment.


Brooklyn Fitboxing anticipates concluding 2023 with 60,000 subscribers and a turnover of forty million euros, a ten-million-euro increase from 2022. Currently, 70% of its subscribers are women, primarily over the age of 34.


Presently, Brooklyn Fitboxing operates 170 gyms in Spain, covering 38,250 square meters, serving 51,000 members, and employing 680 workers.



6. Flynn Group Expands Beyond Restaurants with Planet Fitness Investment


Flynn Restaurant Group LP, the world's largest franchise operator, has acquired a Planet Fitness franchise from Alder Partners, LLC, which runs 37 locations in two major U.S. markets. This move marks Flynn's first venture outside the restaurant industry since its establishment in 1999.


planet fitness Flynn Group

In 2023, Flynn Group's significant international deals included Wendy's and Pizza Hut in Australia, making the Planet Fitness acquisition its third major move. Currently, Flynn operates 2,600 restaurants and fitness clubs across 44 states and two countries, with $4.5 billion in sales and 75,000 employees. Flynn Properties Inc., its affiliate, owns 121 hotels in the U.S. and Mexico, including 109 franchised hotels.


Concurrent with its expansion into the fitness sector, Flynn Restaurant Group is rebranding as Flynn Group, signaling its new vision as a premier franchise operator spanning multiple industries and countries.


Flynn Group LP (formerly Flynn Restaurant Group) is the world's largest franchise operator, with 2,600 restaurants and fitness clubs in 44 states and two countries, generating $4.5 billion in sales and employing 75,000 people. Its affiliate, Flynn Properties Inc., owns 121 hotels in the United States and Mexico. For more information, visit www.flynn.com.


Alder Partners, LLC (Alder) is a privately held multi-unit franchisee of Planet Fitness, operating 37 Planet Fitness clubs in Georgia and Massachusetts. The company is built on core values, including customer-centricity, perseverance, integrity, loyalty, gratitude, and family orientation.


Planet Fitness, founded in 1992, is one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers globally, with over 18.4 million members and 2,472 stores across multiple countries. The company's mission is to provide a high-quality fitness experience in a welcoming environment, known as the Judgement Free Zone®. Over 90% of Planet Fitness stores are independently owned and operated.



7. Saudi's Armah Sports Announces 2023 IPO Plans, Making 2 IPOs Within 5 Years


Saudi-based health club operator, Armah Sports, under the leadership of CEO Fahad Alhagbani, is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) in 2023. The company intends to be listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange Parallel Market (NOMU) initially, with future plans to transition to the main market.


This IPO marks the second in five years for the Alhagbani family, who previously achieved a successful flotation with their prior business, Fitness Time, in 2018.


Armah sports IPO 2023

Armah Sports has been actively engaging with investors over the past three months, many of whom participated in the Fitness Time IPO.


Since its establishment in 2019, the company has introduced two primary brands: the high-end concept Optimo and the premium brand B_Fit, while also working on additional concepts.


Fahad Alhagbani noted that the fitness market in Saudi Arabia holds substantial growth potential, having doubled since 2017 and projected to double once more by 2027. He expressed the company's ambition to make history by becoming the first team to go public twice in five years within the fitness industry.


The IPO is expected to involve the issuance of 4.93 million shares, equivalent to 15% of the business. The funds raised will be allocated toward expanding the construction and outfitting of clubs, acquiring fitness equipment, and addressing short-term working capital needs.



8. Report on China's sports & fitness equipment imports and exports data


According to China Customs data released recently:


Over the past five years, China's sporting goods imports and exports have shown significant fluctuations. Imports have remained relatively stable and keeping increasing, from US$1.024 billion in 2019 before the epidemic to US$1.582 billion in 2022, with an average annual increase of 15.58% over the three years. imports in the first half of 2023 achieved a small increase of 6.79% compared to the same period of 2022.


China Customs data : Sports equipment
China Customs data : Sports equipment

Sporting equipment exports:


In 2018 and 2019, China's sporting goods exports were in a stable and small growth trend, up 6.41% and 1.19% year-on-year from the previous year, respectively. Into 2020, in the global epidemic crisis production stagnation, China has become the most important manufacturing basis in the global sporting goods supply chain. The growth rate in 2020 was 24.54%, and the growth rate in 2021 reached 67.22%. But when it came to 2022, with the end of the global epidemic, sporting goods exports began to fall back, and there was a significant decline, the rate of decline reached 11.25%.


In the first half of 2023, sporting goods exports of 12.726 billion U.S. dollars, compared with the same period of the previous year, it fell by 16.17%.


In the first half of 2023, sportswear exported with 1.446 billion U.S. dollars and sports shoes exported with 1.165 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 11.36% and 9.15% of the total export of sporting goods, respectively, and the export of sportswear and sports shoes occupy an important position in the export of sporting goods. Other fitness and rehabilitation equipment (HS code 95069119) exported with 1.850 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 14.54%.

Treadmill made in  China
Treadmill export from China

Among other major categories, treadmills (HS code 95069111) exported with 418 million U.S. dollars, accounting for 3.28%; foot, basketball and volleyball (95066210) exported with 382 million U.S. dollars, accounting for 3.00%; ping pong, badminton, tennis and equipment (including HS codes 95064010, 95064090, 95065100, 95065900, 95066100) total exports of 412 million U.S. dollars, accounting for 3.24%. Other export categories accounted for a relatively high proportion of 7.30% of fishing gear, golf and equipment accounted for 5.06%, windsurfing, wakeboards, surfboards and other water sports equipment accounted for 5.07%, ice and snow equipment and accessories accounted for 2.07%.


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