Romanian Health and Fitness Market

The Romanian Health & Fitness Market—estimated at around 812,000 members and a value of EUR 248 million — has seen double-digit annual growth over the past 5 years. The same trends that influenced the European Health & Fitness Market drove growth in the Romanian market as well. In addition, several local trends are visible, mainly in Bucharest and a few other major cities (Cluj, Timisoara, Iasi):

  • Service offering expansion led mainly by larger-format fitness centers offering a wider range of group fitness classes and facilities such as swimming pools
  • Increased demand for premium fitness clubs, accompanied by higher willingness to pay
  • Increased utilization of revenue streams such as personal training courses, and purchasing of food, beverage, and sports nutrition products.

While growing fast, the market is still immature, with significant development potential going forward. By 2023 it is expected that an additional 250,000–300,000 new members will join the fitness market (a 30–35 percent increase versus 2018). The market value in 2023 is projected at EUR 360–380 million (a 45–55 percent increase versus 2018).

On the demand side, 17 percent of Romanians practice sports outdoors, with fitness being the second-most practiced sport after running, according to the Sport and Healthy Lifestyle Romania study conducted by Quantix in 2017. Compared to other countries (Poland, for instance), employers in Romania are not yet incentivized (tax-wise) to pay for fitness or sports memberships for their employees.

The club density is 0.6 clubs per 10,000 inhabitants, similar to the level in Poland (0.68), but lower than in countries such as Spain (0.9) or Portugal (1.0). Nevertheless, it is difficult to compare the Romanian fitness market to any other in Europe, including Poland. While the Romanian market typically follows patterns of the Polish market in other industries (for example, financial services and retail), in terms of fitness, the market fundamentals are different. In Poland, the customers, and as a consequence the club formats, are rather budget-driven and focused on functionality, while in Romania, the customers are more interested in premium offerings and focused on the overall experience (for example, the look and feel of the location, and the quality of equipment and trainers).

Source: AT Kearny report

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