By Brad Umansky

The health club industry has always fascinated me, especially based upon the fact that initially I would have never thought that an economic downturn would have caused a large expansion in the business. Ever since 2009, we have seen a huge expansion of the fitness industry with clubs being built by LA Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, Golds Gym, Fitness 19, Planet Fitness, Crunch Fitness and others. I would have thought that buying a health club membership would have been an luxury that most people would have foregone for either necessities.

But it turns out that it is really an inexpensive luxury or as the following NPR Planet Money podcast (about 15 minutes long), it is really an inexpensive luxury that people think they want, but which most really do not pursue. The following podcast reveals that most health clubs in today’s world are inexpensive enough that people will sign up, but not actually go. This is what the health club industry banks on and yet what seems to make the better operators such good shopping center tenants. Hope you enjoy this podcast. Click Here to listen.