Fit, fine and loaded: How Indian gyms are making a killing

Fit, fine and loaded: How Indian gyms are making a killing

By ANIRUDH VOHRA | | 2 January, 2016
It's not about adding an extra way to generate additional revenue but branding.
On a Sunday morning Anubhav wakes up around 11:00 and starts his day with a cup of coffee in his Yoga Chakra mug. After which he drives down to Yoga Chakra which is his preferred destination for his Sunday Yoga sessions. He wears Yoga Chakra T-shirts for his Sunday outing too as well, not because he is a model for the chain of Yoga studios, but for the simple fact that he is proud of it and loves the texture of the shirt. 
As per Manisha Kohli co-founder of the Yoga Chakra, “Yoga is not merely an exercise session; it is a state of being. People love to have things around them that give them a feel good factor like yoga. So, we decided to have everyday products that communicate yoga and its teachings so that you are always close to yoga and reminded to be present and breathe.”  
 In the broadest sense, merchandising is any practice which contributes to the sale of products to a retail consumer. At a retail in-store level, merchandising refers to the variety of products available for sale and the display of those products in such a way that it stimulates interest and entices customers to make a purchase.
Fitness institutions these days are offering everything you can imagine under the title of Branding. From key chains, coasters, t-shirts, coffee mugs, to rugs, bed sheets and pillow covers. If you can imagine it rest assured your gym or yoga school is selling it.
Satish Nayar a 26 year old Chartered Accountant says, “I’ve been working out at Fitness First for the past two years now and it feels nice to wear a t-shirt or a carry a Bag that has the name of gym on it. For it acts as a constant reminder that I need to go work out.”
 
Fitness institutions these days are offering everything you can imagine under the title of Branding. From key chains, coasters, t-shirts, coffee mugs, to rugs, bed sheets and pillow covers. If you can imagine it rest assured your gym or yoga school is selling it.
 
 “I cannot comment on gyms and other fitness enterprises but people love to have things around them that make feel good like yoga,” added Manisha from the Yoga Chakra.
It’s not just about adding an extra way to generate additional revenue but branding, that’s what several of these institutions are claiming. “Half these items that we offer are given for free to people how take up membership at our gym. The basic idea is get more and more people talking about our gym. It’s simple logic Jo dikhta hai wo bikta hai,” said the manager of Fitness First.
Earlier the focus used to be adding more and more forms of exercises or equipment to increase the customer satisfaction but now these wellness clubs have budgets for the merchandising section, which generally falls under the marketing head.
“We started selling t-shirts in 2012 and then kept adding more things to our product line up and the response was really great. It’s not like these thing are cheap as compared to the other t-shirts you get outside, for the price of one of our t-shirts matches that of a Adidas or Nike t-shirt  that pick up from the store near you,” said Satish Arora a gym owner in Mumbai.

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