The corona virus pandemic has put global systems on a standstill with respect to functioning, and industries in Saudi Arabia are no different. The fitness services industry was planning for expansion and diverse inclusion as part of the government’s Vision 2030 plan, when the pandemic hit the Kingdom, resulting in a major jolt to the industry. As a response to the spread of the virus, the General Sports Authority (GSA) announced the indefinite closure of fitness and sport centres in the Kingdom on 14th March, 2020. The impact of the virus has been severely felt across the fitness services industry in the Kingdom; however, some players are bucking the trend by adopting innovative strategies and outlooks to stay afloat.
Impact on Fitness Service Offerings: Fitness service players are seeing virtually no new demand due to the impact of the curfew imposed in the country. The partial lifting of the curfew on April 26th did not make the situation any better for gyms, as fitness centers in the country weren’t allowed to re-open. While Saudi gym owners supported the decision of the government, they were identified to be worried about their finances and long-term business operations. Many fitness players considered the said decision a great idea for the health and welfare of all people. However they also urged people/members to help gyms survive the financial impact that coronavirus will undoubtedly have on their business. They requested the members not to freeze their accounts or not to stop paying the gyms, as the smaller businesses/fitness centers might close down if member subscriptions are not kept active.
Government Initiatives to Keep Saudi Population Fit: The Saudi government in March 2020, launched the “Your Home, Your Gym” campaign, encouraging citizens to workout at home and share their videos online. The initiative has been supported by the Ministry of Sports and the Saudi Arabian Olympics Committee.
Strategies Adopted by Fitness Services Players: It is expected that the cascading effects of the pandemic will continue for another 3-4 months and every player is and will bear the brunt of what the world is going through. However, the situation is more worrisome for small players as they don’t have the budget to go digital and to spend big on digital advertising. However, big brands or established fitness studios are coming up with different initiatives to make sure that their consumers stay healthy inside their homes. They are increasingly launching online training sessions, a mix of both live and pre-recorded classes, where gym members are instructed on how to perform their workouts at home, with or without certain equipment. They have also been putting more into their digital marketing budget to make workout from home possible. Gyms such as Fitness Time, Body Masters, Fitness Time, NuYu, BeWellCrossfit, Gracie Jiu Jitsu and Interval Plus Crossfit among other gyms, have been posting online workout videos on their social media handles allowing their members to stay fit at home.
Unorganized and small sized players are now rethinking their strategies of expansion, and now are focusing more on staying afloat. With a remarked focus on customer retention, gyms are now offering free membership freezing services to their customers.
NuYu Fitness: The largest female exclusive gym operator in the Kingdom, NuYU recently introduced Online Team Training sessions for its members, allowing them to stay fit at home. It is also offering Online Personal Training sessions along with free home workout exercises through online videos. The brand is also offering its members the option of renting out its Spinning Bike, Olympic Bar, Plate Set, Dumbbells and Kettlebell, to facilitate a seamless transition from gym workout to home workout.
Fitness Time: The largest fitness services brand in the Kingdom, Fitness Time has led the way for the industry, through its three-point strategy to combat the effects of Covid-19. As part of its Cash flow strategy, the company is holding onto cash reserves and is delaying non-critical expenses for the brand. As part of its customer strategy, the brand is allowing members to freeze their membership absolutely free of charge and encouraging them to workout at home, by posting online workout videos and fitness content. With regards to its workforce, the company has imposed a travel ban on its employees and implemented a Work from Home policy throughout the organization.
Other Players: Many other fitness players in the Kingdom has also embraced the digital innovation in their service offerings such as players like ‘RK Fit’ is sending their clients’ daily workout plans to keep them active and fit while away. ‘BeWellCrossfit’ is also providing online classes for their clients and is thinking to expand its digital service portfolio. On the other hand, ‘Gracie Jiu-Jitsu’, is providing their clients, training at home, with tailored classes, as long as they have an exercise partner and internet access.
The Changing Shift in the Industry: Many fitness influencers are also exploiting the current business opportunity to promote exercise in the context of general well-being when people are unable to go to the gyms and mental stress is taking a toll on many amidst lockdown. Fitness coaches are now holding daily live PE sessions on YouTube and Instagram. This is helping many influencers with increased engagement as they rely on monetization from these social networks, making it a smart move all around. For influencers who previously focused on gym-based workouts, there is an opportunity to capitalize on the changing habits of consumers, and to branch out into content that focuses on health and well-being when everyone is scared due to the spread of the virus.
Industry’s Future-The Way Forward: As of 26th May 2020, Saudi Arabia will join other Gulf countries in lifting restrictions. Dubai, a part of the United Arab Emirates, has shortened nightly curbs on movement and allowed businesses such as gyms and cinemas to reopen. Saudi Arabia government is also planning to begin a three-phase plan on May 28. In the first phase, which will be initiated during May 28th to May 30th, the curfew in all parts of Saudi Arabia, except Makkah, will be lifted daily from 6am-3pm. Business activities such as malls as well as wholesale and retail shops will be allowed to reopen outside of the curfew hours. In the second phase, which will be implemented between May 31st to June 20th, the curfew will be lifted daily from 6am-8pm across the country except in Makkah and by the third phase, due to begin by June 21st , all restrictions will be lifted to allow a return to normal. Saudi Arabia, which gets most of its revenue from crude exports, has also announced a slew of austerity measures to cope with the impact of the pandemic and the fallout from the collapse in oil prices by tripling value-added tax from 5% to 15% and cutting cost-of-living allowances for government workers.
It is expected that post Ramadan and lifting of restrictions/curfew in the country, a significant number of people will join fitness centers across Saudi Arabia to re-focus on physical and mental wellbeing and therefore the industry might witness a V-shaped growth in the number of members and market revenue within the coming 1-2 years. However, the improvement of online fitness content, availability of and accessibility to free courses and online support are a few silver linings that have emerged during these uncertain times and the industry is expected to adopt and focus more on these disruptions post the pandemic scenario as well.
Key Segments Covered:-
By Market Structure
By Revenue Stream
Makkah and Madinah
Below 18 years
19 to 30 years
31 to 60 years
Above 60 years
By Income Group
Below SAR 38,000
SAR 38,000 to SAR 94,000
SAR 94,000 to SAR 150,000
Above SAR 150,000
Key Target Audience:-
Fitness Service Providers
Fitness Service Equipment Manufacturers
Ministry of Sports
Time Period Captured in the Report:-
Historical Period: 2014-2019
Forecast Period: 2019-2025
Fitness Brands Covered:-
Interval Plus Crossfit
Arena MMA Fitness
The Power Gym
Spectrum Wellness for Women
Other Players include G-Fit, B-Well Center, Fitness Inn, Areka, Iron Hill Crossfit, Fitness World, Marom Club, Rio Gym and Wazen Gym
Key Topics Covered in the Report:-
Benchmarking of Saudi Fitness Services Market and Global Fitness Services Market
Business Model of Fitness Service Operators in Saudi Arabia
Market Sizing Analysis of Fitness Services in Saudi Arabia
Market Segmentation Analysis of Fitness Services in Saudi Arabia
Emerging Trends and Developments in Saudi Arabia Fitness Services Market
Issues and Challenges in Saudi Arabia Fitness Services Market
Customer Decision Making Parameters
Pain Points of Customers
Market Share of Unorganized Players in Fitness Services Market in Saudi Arabia
Company Profiles of Major Players (Fitness Time, Body Masters, NuYu, Fitness First, Glamour Fitness, NuYU, Gold’s Gym and Others)
Covid Impact on Saudi Arabia Fitness Services Market
Future Outlook of Saudi Arabia Fitness Services Market
Analyst Recommendations for New Entrants and Existing Players
B Platform Choosing Criteria for Packaging manufacturers
Penetration of Online Retail Products & their Packaging Implications
For More Information on the research report, refer to below link:-
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