Gyms are back, and landlords love it

Gyms are bulking back up as consumers continue leaving the house.

Olivia Heller

The pandemic gave the fitness industry the biggest sweat of its life.

Social distancing protocols and the rise of at-home fitness products spurred a 33% drop in the market value of the fitness industry between 2020 and 2021, per IBISWorld.

But as consumers become more comfortable leaving their homes again, the industry is slowly building its muscle back, per The New York Times.

In the wake of the pandemic…

… fitness center openings are outpacing other retail categories:

  • In the first three months of 2022, the square footage of new fitness centers jumped to 4.5m square feet, up from ~2m at the end of 2021.
  • Monthly gym visits were up 18%+ from 2019 levels between March and August, and new memberships jumped 34% YoY in August alone.

With many landlords still dealing with pandemic-driven vacancies, the recovery of fitness centers, which often take up big chunks of square footage, has been as refreshing as a post-workout smoothie.

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