David Lloyd Leisure smashes recovery target to hit pre-pandemic membership levels
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David Lloyd Leisure smashes recovery target to hit pre-pandemic membership levels

David Lloyd Leisure (DLL) has bounced back to pre-pandemic membership levels seven months ahead of schedule
The operator, which has 122 clubs across Europe, now has 660,000 members
DLL had initially estimated to reach pre-pandemic membership levels by the spring of 2022
DLL's locations in residential areas have played to changing working patterns
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No one could have predicted such a phenomenal bounceback
– Russell Barnes, CEO, David Lloyd Leisure

Russell Barnes, CEO of David Lloyd Leisure (DLL), has told HCM the company has 'smashed' its initial business recovery forecast by returning to pre-pandemic membership levels sevens months ahead of expectations.

The operator, which has 122 clubs – 99 in the UK and a further 23 across Europe – now has 660,000 members across its estate.

It had initially estimated to reach that figure by the spring of 2022.

Barnes said the rapid bounceback and unprecedented business growth since the Europe-wide reopening of clubs earlier this year had, in part, been fuelled by pent-up demand experienced by the industry as a whole.

“Like many businesses, we anticipated a strong post-pandemic recovery, but no one could have predicted such a phenomenal bounceback," he explained. "The health crisis has clearly fuelled demand for wellbeing and fitness, but our clubs, with their breadth of family-friendly lifestyle products, and suburban locations, mean that we are particularly well placed to take advantage of the boom."

Barnes also said DLL's offer of family-friendly lifestyle facilities – in addition to their suburban locations – have also driven the uplift.

"Our offer supports the shift in lifestyles to hybrid working and less commuting, which has seen a boom in people looking to join health clubs closer to home," he said.

"Our Clubrooms also provide business lounges for those working remotely, as well as a friendly club community, supporting mental wellbeing after months of isolation working from home."

Since the reopening of facilities in Europe, Barnes says DLL has been able to attract not only its traditional member base, but also a broader range of people who may not previously have considered DLL, but are now looking for 'more than just a gym'.

This, says Barnes, is down to the pandemic not only resulting in people valuing mental and physical health more than ever but also being willing to invest more of their disposable income in their health.

"Most importantly," says Barnes, "We've worked hard to fulfil our responsibility to all our members – old and new – to always offer the best possible environment and products that reflect their changing needs and lifestyle – and we intend to go on doing just that.”

Watch out for HCM's exclusive interview with Russell Barnes in the next issue of the magazine, which will be out in August.

Be the first to read HCM's interview with Russell Barnes when it's published, by signing up here.

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Russell Barnes, CEO of David Lloyd Leisure (DLL), has told HCM the company has 'smashed' its initial business recovery forecast by returning to pre-pandemic membership levels sevens months ahead of expectations.
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