New price sensitivity research shows impact of increasing membership fees

New research from Leisure-net Solutions shows the impact of potential increases in membership fees on customers across the UK.

Many operators are considering raising prices to alleviate the burden of rising costs but are worried about damaging customer relationships. Leisure-net’s independent research highlights how sensitive customers are to price increases, allowing operators to tailor their price changes to avoid losing members.

The findings are based on the responses of 400 members of leisure centres, mid-range clubs, budget clubs and independent gyms, who were asked how sensitive they would be to membership increases of 5, 10, 15 and 20 per cent, via Leisure-net’s new 65,000 plus Consumer Insight Panel.

The results, which can be broken down into regions, age and gender, make for interesting reading. For example, younger men at independent gyms are most likely to accept price rises, while older women at leisure centres are least acceptable to increased costs.

The survey found that 40 per cent of independent gym members would be prepared to pay up to 20 per cent more for their membership. It’s a different picture in Scotland, where nearly half of independent gym members (47 per cent) would not tolerate an increase in membership dues.

When it comes to leisure centres, a quarter of members living in London said they would be prepared to see their fees increase by 20 per cent. By contrast, 63 per cent of leisure centre members in Wales would not pay any more for their membership.

David Monkhouse, director of Leisure-net Solutions, says: “Operators are seeing a big squeeze on their income with increasing costs and Sport England’s Moving Communities platform showing an 80 per cent return to leisure facilities after the pandemic. This new price sensitivity research shows how much operators can increase their membership by before they start to lose customers. It can be tailored to regions and gym types to allow operators to make informed decisions on possible price increases to help them navigate these challenging times.”

Julie Allen, Leisure-net’s new Business Development Director, will be developing the service further. For more information about how you can benefit from the Customer Insight Panel, please email

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