Member of

DIFG Association


Health Club Management, Februar 2018

by Deven Pamben 

Low-cost operators boost German membership rates

Budget operators are shaping the fitness landscape in Germany, with six of the top 10 for membership numbers targeting the low-cost market. Analysis released by fitness and sports advisory firm Edelhelfer showed that McFIT remained number one on the list, with 1.5 million members, followed by fellow low-cost brand Clever Fit, with 650,000 customers. Mid-market club Fitness First came in third with 245,000 members. [...]

Fitness News Europe, 16. Januar 2018
von Barbara Smit

Budgetclubs steigen in deutschen Rankings nach oben

Die zehn führenden deutschen Fitnessclubbetreiber haben ihre Mitgliederzahl im vergangenen Jahr um 9,7% auf rund 3,5 Millionen erhöht. Das Ranking sieht eine zunehmende Konzentration und den fortgesetzten Anstieg der Discountbetreiber mit sechs der zehn führenden Akteure in dieser Kategorie. Die Analyse wurde von Edelhelfer erstellt, einer auf die Freizeit- und Fitnessbranche spezialisierten Beratungsboutique, die vor allem bei Transaktionen und der strategischen Entwicklung unterstützt. [...]

Handelsblatt, 02.02.2015
by Thomas Mersch, Stefan Merx

Fresh money, new risks

[...] It seems as if the dam broke, the mood shifts in favour of reputable investors. An increasing number of Bundesliga clubs strengthen its capital base by taking shareholders and strategic partners on board, "Since 2014 more than EURm 250 have been brought through investments in the coffers of the Bundesliga," Niels Gronau, founder of the sports business consulting boutique edelhelfer, had analysed. One year before, Hertha BSC was willing to give away 9.7 percent of the shares for a similar price of EURm 18to the financial investor KKR. [...]

Handelsblatt, 30.01.2015
by Diana Fröhlich

Golf - The offspring is missing

[...] It is not probable that the difficult situation on the golf market will change fundamentally this year: "In Germany, 60 percent of golfers are over 50 years old," says Niels Gronau, managing director of consulting firm edelhelfer. "Younger people are hard to motivate for the sport of golf," says the expert. In the US, an increasing number of golf clubs is closing down. Compared to 2005 - when around 30 million Americans played golf - there are now seven million players and nearly 1,000 courses less. [...]


Mannheimer Morgen, 13.01.2015
von Laura Schlegel

Pfitzenmeier in Top 10

The big get bigger: On the German health and fitness market much is focused on the top 10 operators. [...] The advisory boutique edelhelfer has analysed the numbers. [...] That the only regionally active Pfitzenmeier Group rose by 16.3 percent and worked its way up to eighth place, is not surprising for edelhelfer boss Niels Gronau: "The company benefits from people's trust they have in a local provider." [...]

Handelsblatt, 12.01.2015
by Thomas Mersch und Stefan Merx

Massenbetrieb in der Muckibude

[...] Niels Gronau, Chef des Beratungshauses Die Edelhelfer in Mannheim, hat Konzepte und Margen verglichen. "Vor allem die Discountketten sorgen für Dynamik in der insgesamt weiter wachsenden Branche", sagt er. [...] McFit erzielt laut Edelhelfer-Studie auch die höchsten Umsatzrenditen. Doch massiv drängt Konkurrenz in den Billigmarkt. Etwa FitX, die mit 15 Euro Monatsbeitrag alles unterbieten, oder Ketten wie Fitness-King, Easyfitness, Jumpers und Clever Fit. [...]

Fitness Management International, Issue 04/2014
by Niels Gronau/Gregor Titze

Article: Europe´s fitness market in motion

The portion of fitness club members at total population is increasing in European countries; now 46 million people are already member at a gym. The largest European club operators continue to grow and are often supported in their expansion of financial investors. Also the manufacturers of fitness equipment continue their positive development of the recent past. These and other findings are the result of the current report on the "European Health and Fitness Market", which the European fitness association EuropeActive has published in cooperation with the edelhelfer. The article was published in the current issue of the industry magazine Fitness Management International in Germany, which is available only in German language. [More information on the report]

Handelsblatt, 25.09.2014
von Diana Fröhlich

Abschlag für Abschlag

[...] "Solche Events sind dringend notwendig. Der Golfsport muss besser vermarktet, die Wahrnehmung in der Öffentlichkeit verändert werden", sagt Niels Gronau, Geschäftsführer des Beratungshauses edelhelfer. Gronau, der 2012 die Studie "Golfmarkt - quo vadis?" erstellt hat, weiß, dass die Vorurteile - Golfen sei teuer, elitär und mit einer notwendigen Platzreife als Eintrittskarte zu kompliziert - noch stärker abgebaut werden müssen. [...] Auch die Ausstatter wie Taylor Made (Adidas), Nike und Cobra (Puma) haben Mühe, ihre Utensilien an den Mann oder die Frau zu bringen. Deutschland sei da "Teil eines internationalen Trends", sagt Unternehmensberater Gronau. Denn auch in den USA verliert der Sport an Bedeutung - und zwar auf einem ganz anderen, höheren Niveau. Denn dort spielen derzeit noch knapp acht Prozent der Bevölkerung Golf, zur Erinnerung: In Deutschland ist es nicht einmal ein Prozent. [...]

BODYMEDIA, Issue 04/2014
by Johannes Lößl und Niels Gronau

Article: Controlling in fitness clubs

The authors John Lößl and Niels Gronau focus in their recent article on the topic controlling in fitness clubs. Controlling essentially means the focused planning, management and control of the various areas in a company. Almost all health and fitness club companies deal in their operations already explicitly or implicitly with various aspects of controlling. However, significant differences appear in the understanding and awareness of the controlling measures carried out in practice. The article was published in the current issue of BODY MEDIA in Germany, which is available only in German language. [more]

FIT-EXPO Congress, May 2014

Panel Discussion with Gregor Titze

On the congress which took place the day before FIT-EXPO, Gregor Titze presented the results of the current report on the "European Health & Fitness Market" (by EuropeActive) as a speaker and addressed especialy the Polish fitness market and its competitive environment. Furthermore, he represented edelhelfer and the external perspective in the panel discussion. The recording of the discussion (mostly in Polish) can be found [here]

BODY LIFE, 27.05.2014
by Constantin Wilser

Interview with Niels Gronau

The portion of fitness club members at total population is increasing in European countries; now 46 million people are already member at a gym. The largest European club operatorscontinue to grow and are often supported in their expansion of financial investors. The manufacturers of fitness equipment continue their positive development of the recent past. These and other findings are the result of the current report on the "European Health and Fitness Market", which the European fitness association EuropeActive has published in early May 2014. At FIBO, the leading trade fair for fitness, the industry magazine BODY LIFE conducted an interview with one of the authors Niels Gronau. [more]

Handelszeitung (Switzerland), 24.04.2014
von Thomas Mersch

Fight for every muscle

[...] "The expansion abroad offers larger companies opportunities for further growth," says Niels Gronau, fitness market expert for Deloitte. "due to the increasing competition on the home market." In a study published in early April, Deloitte has investigated jointly with the European Health & Fitness Association the Swiss market. Result: More than a million people here exercises in fitness clubs - the equivalent of 12.9 percent of the population. [...] "Switzerland is a complex market," says expert Gronau. "It is comparatively small, and there are three different linguistic regions, making it more difficult to enter." Tempting, however, is the relatively high income per capita. "This allows above-average revenues." [...]

Handelsblatt, 30.09.2013
by Thomas Mersch and Stefan Merx

Sweating like a star

[...] Niels Gronau, senior manager of Deloitte consulting and auditing, praises the solidarity between the singer and the fitness professionals: "It's a clever approach to have experts in regional markets as a partner.“International companies bring the business under control. "Fitness is increasingly a global business," said Gronau. In terms of sales, the number one in Europe today is Virgin Active, which was founded by the British entrepreneur Richard Branson. [...] In a Deloitte report on the European fitness market the consultants describe two trends: toward discounted or premium offers. [...] (more)

Hamburger Abendblatt, 27.07.2013
by Steffen Preißler

Small gyms fight against big clubs

[...] "It's good for the industry if new trends arise, because the customers are demanding," says Gronau. The German fitness market is one of the fastest growing sports segments in Germany. The number of new sports increases the pressure on the established studios. Already one out of four clubs in Hamburg is a niche player with a training area of ​​less than 200 sqm. But expert Gronau sees enough room for all types of business models. "In Germany with McFit, Fitness First, Kieser and Injoy there are just four really big chains. The strength of the individual owner-managed businesses is the emphasis on personal care and services," said Gronau. [...] (more)

Die Welt, 29.06.2013
by Steffen Preißler

Small studios against big clubs

The fitness industry in the Hanseatic city is growing with new trends - like Crossfit, eFighting or EMS. Meridian Spa also plans two new locations. 233,000 citizens of Hamburg are already a member of a gym [...]. Most of the 233,000 are members of an owner-managed fitness club such as the Royal Sports Club. But their share of the market moved in favor of the chains during the last years, Niels Gronau, CEO of consulting agency edelhelfer, observed. Their market share is now at 47 percent. Five years ago there were only 35 percent. "Among the chains, there has been a strong growth in recent years. The market leader in Germany McFit has about 1.1 million members," said Gronau. [...] (more), 05.05.2013

Interview on the fitness market at FIBO

In an interview with evivi Niels Gronau, senior manager for the sports and leisure industry at Deloitte and owner of the consulting agency edelhelfer, talks about the growing fitness and wellness market and names Facts & Figures for this industry. (more)


body LIFE 6/2013

Leading fitness supplier in Europe

At 31. December 2012 McFit is the largest fitness operator by numbers of memberships in Germany, but also in Europe. In the company's sales ranking McFit is only in fifth position. Leader in this category is Virgin Active, which has grown by acquisitions of other operators. Using the number of facilities as a measure, the woman fitness providers Curves International and Mrs. Sporty outpace the competitors completely. The entire fitness industry is currently in a phase of increasing M & A activities, driven by the continued interest from private equity firms. "With the price increase of McFit at the beginning of 2013, and the continuing expansion of the concept, domestic and foreign, will allow the seller in the current financial year a place among the Top-3 operators in terms of sales," expects Niels Gronau, senior manager for the sports business group at Deloitte in Germany . [ ...] (more)

Welt am Sonntag, 13.01.2013
by Jennifer Wilton, Stefan von Borstel and Carsten Dierig

Germany in fitness ecstasy

Everyone wants him: the perfect body. And he should be particularly toned and muscled today. More than 7.6 million German - men and women, from teenagers to pensioners - are dragged regularly to cardio trainers, dumbbells and leg presses. The most of them are already a member at a gym, according to a report by Deloitte. And their number is increasing. A strong awareness of health and fitness, but also the ubiquity of an ideal body, idealized by the media, ensure the zeal on the devices. Experts are already talking about a shift in consciousness: "We are experiencing a renaissance of physical exercises," says Niels Gronau, managing director of consulting agency edelhelfer, which regularly analyzes the industry. [...] (more)

DIE WELT, 05.10.2012
by Martin Greive and Jens Hartman

Reebok wants to get out of the crisis with brachial-fitness

[...] Crossfit is the new trend in the fitness market. Crossfit boxes, this is how the gyms are called in English, are increasing. The Crossfit-makers want to revolutionize the fitness industry with this new type of training. The weakening U.S. sportswear manufacturer Reebok, a subsidiary of the Adidas Group, has even linked his fate with Crossfit. [...] Fitness will continue to boom, that is for sure. But whether Crossfit really succeeds the big breakthrough, it is doubtful. "Functional fitness is booming. Because Crossfit is just the tip of the iceberg," says the sports business expert Niels Gronau of the consulting agency edelhelfer. The types of training diversify and Crossfit is in competition with a number of other forms of training. [...](more)

(Pictures: Reebok)

fitnessManagement, 01.06.2012

Who is really fit? - Fitness providers in economic comparison

The fitness industry continues to grow and is getting more versatile in its offerings. According to the latest study of the DSSV 7.6 million people exercise in one of about 7,300 clubs in Germany. These are already 9.3% of all Germans who invested together around € 4 billion in their bodies and minds. The number of members increased in the past five years by over 2.5 million, and the underlying trends seem to continue to be positive for the future. But are the companies that make their money with fitness and health services, even healthy too? In the present study the edelhelfer give some insights into the economic situation of selected operators based on the respective financial statements and benchmark their state and development. [more]

body LIFE, 31.05.2012

Die Kleinen werden groß

Bereits 1.150 Anlagen innerhalb des Segmentes; 340.000 Mitglieder, die in den unterschiedlichsten Konzepten betreut werden; Anbieter Mrs.Sporty strebt dem 500. Club in Deutschland entgegen und Bodystreet eröffnet drei Jahre nach Beginn des Ausrollens die 100. Anlage - Offensichtlich sind Mikrostudios nicht nur ein überdurchschnittlich wachsender Bereich des Fitnessmarktes, sondern verfügen mittlerweile auch über eine entsprechende Relevanz für die Branche. In einem in dem Fitnessmagazin body LIFE erschienen Artikel stellen die edelhelfer die aktuellen Entwicklungen im Segment der Mikrostudios dar. [mehr]

The Wall Street Journal Deutschland, 25.05.2012
by Stefan Merx

Reebok flexes muscles

Reebok wants to bring out the discipline Crossfit in a big way. In an unprecedented show of strength the U.S. sportswear manufacturer Reebok wants to expand the fitness concept to a new boom. According to Niels Gronau, director of consulting agency edelhelfer, Reebok is on a good course. "Reebok conveyed: We are where the fittest people are. Crossfit is currently a huge issue, it is growing rapidly in the U.S. and in the rest of the world...“ [...] "Like the surfers the group of CrossFitters embodies the ideal. In the same clothes you can feel close to the full-toned Crossfit guys, even if you are sitting in the sauna at a Premium club. The close connection of Reebok with Crossfit has spillover effects on the entire collection" says Gronau. (more)

FIT FOR FUN, 02.04.2012

Vielseitiger denn je und auf Erfolgskurs

Der Fitnessmarkt boomt: Mit Disount-Angeboten und Special-Interest-Konzepten lockten die Betreiber 2011 mehr als 7,6 Millionen Menschen in die rund 7 300 Fitnessanlagen deutschlandweit. Das erfolgreiche Wachstum hänge mit dem aktuell sehr vielseitigen Angebot zusammen: "Die Fitnesslandschaft in Deutschland wird von Jahr zu Jahr bunter. Während etablierte Anbieter ihre Leistungen an Nachfragetrends anpassen, drängen neue Anbieter mit innovativen Konzepten auf den Markt", kommentiert Niels Gronau, Leisure-Experte bei Deloitte, die Studie. [mehr]

Financial Times Deutschland, 05.01.2012

Mal lüften in der Muckibude
Der Fitnessmarkt in Deutschland wächst und ist auch für Investoren interessant. Große Innovationen waren trotzdem lange Mangelware. Nach einem lethargischen Jahrzehnt bringen jetzt zwei neue Konzepte frischen Wind in den Markt. "Es ist noch ein recht großer Markt übrig", sagt Niels Gronau, Autor der Deloitte-Studie. (von Teresa Goebbels, Hamburg; Bildmaterial: Financial Times Deutschland)

Frankfurter Rundschau, 04.01.2012
by Daniel Baumann

Everything for the slim line

The fitness industry has put of its negative image and expects for the coming year a strong growth. She benefits mainly from the current social trends. [ ...] Deloitte expert Niels Gronau says: "Many people have a growing demand for integral and high quality training." He excludes that this could be a problem for the discounters, because customers deliberately chose the equipment-based concept of the discounters. "Discounters will continue to grow, even if in the market segment the contest will be harder." Gronau expected that both, the discount as well as a premium supplier with prices starting from 60 Euros per month, will grow. The middle section, which is not really cheap and do not have a very good offer, will be punished. In general, the competition is tougher. Gronau, "It is not as simple as five years ago to open a shop." (more)

(Pictures: Frankfurter Rundschau, ddp)

DER SPIEGEL (edition 41/2011), 10.10.2011
by Lukas Eberle and Maik Grossekathöfer

Fitness: Renaissance of the squat

Many athletes avoid the feel-good atmosphere in the gym. Instead they profess to hard and sometimes even paramilitary body workout - in old industrial facilities or even outdoors. "Athletes increasingly want to train in an original way" says Niels Gronau, who analyses the German fitness market several times a year for the accounting and consulting company Deloitte, "we witness the renaissance of physical exercise." (more)

(Pictures: Der Spiegel)