Four Surprising Reasons Landlords Love Fitness Today.

Don’t let your gym’s size get in the way of negotiating a great gym lease — you’ve got more power than you think. Gyms are the darling of commercial real estate these days and here are four reasons why

Four reasons landlords prefer gym leases

1.      Gym clients stick around. 

Gym goers are known for something in the industry called “stickiness.” This odd word is the amount of time a person stays in the retail plaza after visiting (in this case) the gym. While in the plaza, gym goers frequently stop for a refreshment, socialize with friends or finish errands. According to Creditntell, “a retailer located in a shopping plaza with a gym receives on average 2.5% more visits a month compared with the same retailer’s other locations in centers without a fitness center.”

Fitness centers focused on women and niche studios are more likely than big box gyms to increase foot traffic to nearby stores. 

2.      Fitness centers provide steady foot-traffic for local retail.

Gym members visit multiple times a week and often fill parking lots when the plaza is usually otherwise empty in the early morning and after work.  This increased frequency amplifies the likelihood of shopping and socializing in the plaza. Additionally, a full plaza looks much better than an empty one and gyms have proven to provide the traffic.

3.      Health clubs are a successful, resilient industry.

Despite the body blow inflicted on the fitness industry in 2020, exercise enthusiasts are back in full force and going to the gym as often as they did before the pandemic. By second quarter of 2022, fitness visits were up 15.9% compared to second quarter 2019, according to retail traffic data firm, Placer.ai. 

Gyms, as well, have shown good faith in repaying rent deferments and now are among the four key industry sectors that account for over half of all retail leasing, according to CoStar. New memberships and monthly visits are on par with 2019. 

4.      Fitness attracts every demographic.

Today’s diverse fitness clubs and boutique centers are as likely to attract seniors searching for stability as they are the beauty-driven youth market or the former-athlete-entering-middle-age crowd. Our international health crisis has translated into an America where people are searching for solutions beyond a fitness. Now, we are exercising to reduce stress and to feel better mentally.  This interest in social, emotional and physical balance has driven an explosion in fitness and wellness offerings, expanding exercise well beyond weight training and aerobics.

Leasing experts NAI Capital agree – gyms drive traffic.

  New gym operators may still have a hard time because of their credit and lack of operating history, but anyone who can prove their concept, should be able to get a great deal on a space in this market.

Sam D. Monempour, vice president of NAI Capital.

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Monempour continues, “The retail trend post covid has been experiential and service oriented.  Traditional retail spaces, which sell goods that could be purchased online, have seen historic vacancy and been sitting vacant for much longer.  However, spaces providing a service such as food, salon, fitness, sports rehab or experience, have done much better.  People are still going out to destination spaces and spending money on an experience.  Especially the younger demographics.  They are far more health oriented and want to have new experiences.

Many big box spaces have been leased by uses such as museums, escape rooms, pickleball, VR and other such uses.  As such, landlords have been courting these users to help bring people to their centers.”

Flex your retail power.

As you head into lease negotiations over your first, or next, gym location, take a few minutes to check in on just how powerful you are. Your fitness center reflects the best our world offers as it brings people together in the pursuit of emotional and physical health. Your clients then go out and share their generosity with local businesses and model wellness for others. Indeed, fitness is even redesigning entire fashion trends. Your gym is the future! Great job and good luck on your new location!

We are proud to be a part of this wonderful fitness universe and to provide amazing gym management software that propels businesses to their peak performance. Our multi-function, automated software makes running your club seamless, while our award-winning customer service team assures your onboarding and transition to our company will be handled smoothly. For more information on our gym software, contact us at 855-FOR-GYMS or visit our social media sites. Sales professionals Anthony and Natalia will be happy to provide a free demo of our software. 

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