As we take a quick look back over the leisure industry in 2016 there has been some huge changes from where we started the year to where it is ending. Thank you to all of those people who have been involved this last twelve months – we very much look forward to spending 2017 with you too!
The UK leisure recruitment industry
At 4Leisure Recruitment, we have seen our team grow and are excited about the recruitment industry for 2017. Despite the pinch that the living wage is bringing to many employers, the leisure sector is showing great growth and strength. It is impossible to ignore the political changes that have taken place in 2016 so it has to be acknowledged that effects on the leisure industry have been felt as part of the global shift in politics.
However, the UK leisure industry seems to have benefited from a lift in the number of people using the services available. The spa industry particularly has seen a boost as people seem to be pampering themselves at home instead of booking holidays abroad. We seem as a nation to be spending more time and money on ourselves which is great for the industry and leisure recruiters alike!
Record gym membership
In May it was announced that gym and health club memberships had reached a record high. Awareness about personal health, fitness and wellness seems to be ever increasing. At government level plans are a-foot to merge the need to improve the general health of the population as a whole and tapping into the resources of local leisure centres and trying to capture inactive groups which can only lead to more leisure jobs, more gyms and more pools!
A dive in the popularity of swimming
However, swimming has seen a dip in the number of folks doing it on a regular basis, with reports that regular swimming participation has seen a drop of around 24%
But it may be that the reasons behind this include the very fact that there are so many other activities on offer that people are not exercising less in the pool, but more everywhere. 2016 has seen 564 new publicly accessible pools open.
We also have not experienced a drop in demand for qualified lifeguards, so it remains to be seen if swimming participation will have a major long-term impact on the leisure industry as a whole.
One trend we can’t ignore from 2016 is that of ever advancing technology. David Lloyd Leisure has had a major virtual fitness rollout and we predict 2017 will see much more of the same. There is no escaping the explosion of tech in the leisure sector, so don’t try to escape it. If you were one of the millions of users of Pokemon Go earlier this year then you certainly embraced the cultural shift to blending tech and exercise. We predict much more of the same next year and eagerly await the next big release.
2016 has seen the leisure sector grow at a faster rate than retail, possibly helped along by some huge events in the sporting world, including the Olympics and the Paralympics. A truly spectacular event with some brilliant performances both by teams and individuals. In case you missed our earlier blog post about some other sporting events you really don’t want to miss, take a look at where you need to go if you are looking for something to start a training schedule for in the new year. https://www.4leisurerecruitment.co.uk/blog/4leisure-news/five-not-to-be-missed-sporting-events-this-summer/
We very much look forward to seeing the rise of skateboarding next year too as one of the newest additions to the Olympic line up. It will be good to see new facilities and enthusiasts finding a wider platform.
High demand for beauty and spa
2016 has seen us experience high demand for passionate beauty retail staff. It seems that more of us are willing to pay for good quality beauty products and we have been providing retail staff to help customers looking for advice on what to purchase.
The spa industry in general is taking advantage of the demand for beauty products and treatments – in November, Pure Gym launched a membership-style salon concept. We look forward to seeing this roll out further in 2017.
Trampoline venues have had a huge rise in popularity in the last 18 months. They seem to be popping up all over the place but the market is already becoming very aggressive with some already starting to close. 2017 is likely to see these businesses striving for diversification in the battle to compete. Some of our clients are already introducing facilities such as climbing walls, laser tag and “ninja warrior” style courses. As they evolve, these will provide more credible venues for the corporate market. There are plenty of businesses now focused keenly on the corporate event market and the ability to provide a full entertainments package with much more comprehensive catering options may be the difference between those that survive and those that don’t.
What else do we envisage 2017 bringing for us – well after some of the events of this year I think it is safe to say next year will be a complete adventure- one we look forward to taking with you.