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Increasingly fitness-focused Brits cause surge in gym spending

6 minute read
Figures show that gym spending has knock-on effect on other industries


17 August 2015: Spending on gym memberships has increased by 44% in the last year, according to new data released today. This is being felt across the industry, with all gym categories benefitting from the increase.

Budget gyms experienced the most significant rise in spending, with an increase of 66% compared with the last year. Mid and top-tier gyms are also seeing results, with spending rises of 22% and 14% respectively.

There is also evidence that increased gym spending is having a knock-on effect on wider spending. Other UK retailers, particularly in the grocery, fashion and food sectors, are feeling the benefits of fitness-conscious consumers.

The findings come from Cardlytics, an advertising and technology company specialising in card-linked marketing, which has tracked the spending behaviour of 5.5 million UK bank customers* to analyse gym members’ shopping habits. As part of this, it has looked into the spending behaviour of gym-goers in the eight weeks prior to them joining a gym, and the first eight weeks of their membership.

The findings paint a picture of a nation of increased numbers of gym-goers, who are in turn spending more money across the board.

At specialty health stores, spending among gym-goers jumps 55% in the two weeks prior to them starting their membership, while shopping at sporting goods stores rises by 96%.

Spending on eating out steadily increases by 27% in the eight weeks leading up to a gym membership beginning, and remains higher by 15% during the first eight weeks of consumers becoming active. In their first week of active gym membership, consumers spend 34% more at fashion retailers. Supermarkets also see uplift, with an 11% increase in spending.

Jill Dougan, Managing Director of Cardlytics, said: “This data shows that British consumers aren’t the only ones improving their figures, as UK retailers across the country benefit from a focus on fitness. A gym membership can lead to higher levels of spending across the board on social activities, new clothes and healthier products.”

Cardlytics’ data shows that gym users are more likely to spend at other retailers than non-gym users**:

  • Gym users spend 56% more than non-gym users on eating out, while budget gym users spend 64% than non-gym users
  • Budget gym users are bigger spenders on takeaway food than non-gym users, spending 32% more of their total eating out budget
  • Gym users are more beauty and fashion conscious: gym users spend 32% more on beauty products and 50% more on fashion than non-gym users
  • Showing they might be more comfortable with their bodies, gym users spend 17% more of their fashion budget on lingerie than non-gym users


*Cardlytics does not have access to any personally-identifiable information such as name, age, gender, address etc. All customer level data remains behind bank firewalls.

**Based on a sample displaying close-to-median spend and removing any socio-economic bias related to discretionary income

Notes to editors

The figures are based on the spending data of 5.5 million UK bank consumers, between May 2014 and July 2015. A gym user is defined as anyone spending money on gyms during the time period, while a non-gym user is defined as anyone who has not spent money on gyms in the last year.

About Cardlytics

Cardlytics is an advertising & technology company and the leader and pioneer in Card-Linked Marketing. Through partnerships with nearly 400 financial institutions, including Bank of America, Lloyds Banking Group, Santander and many others, the company has insight into consumer purchase behaviour, capturing spending across all stores and categories. Cardlytics’ patented technology allows advertisers to make a direct connection to millions of active buyers through multiple digital platforms, including their online banking and mobile banking applications. Cardlytics is headquartered in Atlanta, with offices in London, New York and San Francisco. The company is funded by leading investors in Boston and Silicon Valley, as well as a strategic investment from the world’s leading loyalty company, Aimia.

Media Contacts

Headland Consultancy

Jessica Vallance

+44 207 367 5247


Tom James

+44 207 367 5240

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