Appart Fitness, a network of around one hundred rooms, half of which are franchised, launched at the end of August “Its biggest advertising campaign”, says Thibault de Morel, Marketing Director. Radio and TV spots, posters in cities: the brand had gone all out to take advantage of the start of the school year, the most favorable period for registrations. Very badly took him: in mid-September, at the height of the operation, the rumor was already running of a new closure of sports halls, quickly confirmed in the red zones, before the curfew and the re-containment.
“We have seen an avalanche of retractions and terminations, much more than in the spring, when people, paralyzed, did not take the necessary steps”, explains Thibault de Morel. “This time, they say they’re sorry for us, but it’s every man for himself. “ Even having suspended monthly withdrawals to appease its customers, Appart Fitness, 50 million euros in consolidated sales, saw his subscriber base of 140,000 people melt by 30%. Some 20% have maintained a solidarity levy.
“Find the customer at home”
So, for this second confinement, the company reacted by professionalizing its online courses. In the spring, sessions on Facebook had recorded up to 400 simultaneous connections, and 10,000 views for some videos. A nice success but DIY, from the living room or the coach’s bedroom. ” Gold the offer is plethoric on YouTube, we had to stand out ”, claims Thibault de Morel, to explain theinvestment of 200,000 euros in a professional TV studio at the end of October, in order to supply VoD course platform. In the Laënnec club, in Lyon, there is now a 35 square meter stage, three cameras, a tracking rail and microphones, to capture post-produced sessions with effects and dynamic computer graphics – like the seconds countdown to hold a position.
The fitness platform is designed “According to Netflix codes”, with “seasons” of five or six episodes: Monday thighs-abs-glutes, Tuesday boxing, Wednesday Pilates… The specific offer, at 7.99 euros per month, will be perpetuated. Because, when the rooms can reopen, the group anticipates a low rate of return “Because of the gauges that will surely continue and the conversions to online courses”, explains Thibault de Morel. “There will be a before and an after in our profession. “
The Appart Fitness, already indoor and outdoor with marathon training, intends to add digital to its range, and perhaps even home coaching. “We will have to go pick up the customer at home”, he sums up.