Fitness firm David Lloyd Leisure hails 'phenomenal bounce back' to pre-pandemic levels

David Lloyd Leisure has hailed a return to full fitness after membership levels bounced back to pre-pandemic peaks.

The health and fitness business said membership numbers now totalled more than 660,000 across the UK and mainland Europe, smashing its initial recovery forecast of spring 2022.

Bosses said the bounce back and “unprecedented” business growth has in part been fuelled by inevitable pent-up demand experienced by the industry as a whole.

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However, the firm also pointed to the “breadth and depth of its family friendly lifestyle facilities” and the suburban location of many of its clubs.

The David Lloyd Leisure Group has 122 clubs – 99 in the UK and a further 23 clubs across Europe – comprising its two brands David Lloyd Clubs and Harbour Clubs.

It highlighted research showing that the pandemic has resulted in people valuing mental and physical health more than ever – with wellbeing and overall lifestyle both cited in the top three reasons for new joiners taking out a membership.

The company’s clubs offer a range of luxury spas, holistic classes, gyms, indoor and outdoor pools and racquet facilities, which bosses said were appealing to a “post pandemic market segment who now recognise the value of the broad wellness offering”.

The group said it was also investing heavily in expanding its digital offering, initially addressing the trend towards remote workouts with the launch of a dedicated app in March 2020, offering thousands of live and on-demand fitness workouts.

Chief executive Russell Barnes said: “Like many businesses, we anticipated a strong post-pandemic recovery, but no one could have predicted such a phenomenal bounce back.

“The health crisis has clearly fuelled a demand for wellbeing and fitness, but our clubs, with their breadth of family friendly lifestyle products, and suburban locations, mean that we are particularly well placed to take advantage of the boom.

“Most importantly, we have worked hard to fulfil our responsibility to all our members – old and new – to always offer the best possible environment and products that reflect their changing needs and lifestyle, and we intend to go on doing just that.”

The David Lloyd Leisure Group has 122 clubs – 99 in the UK and a further 23 clubs across Europe – comprising its two brands David Lloyd Clubs and Harbour Clubs. It employs about 8,600 people.

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