With lower-than-expected profits (
Life Time CEO
"The health-and-fitness sector continues to fragment at a rapid rate," Akradi said in reference to competition for consumer attention. "Retention of membership is where we see our opportunity, but it will take some time to show material change -- maybe up to a year."
Analysts agreed that it will take time before it's known whether Life Time can arrest its recent membership decline.
"There's just a lot of competition and a lot of choice out there," said
Although Life Time's second-quarter revenue rose 6 percent above the same period in 2013, net income was down 11 percent.
A company spokesman told the
Not all clubs saw drop
"The impact was within our mature club portfolio," said
In a conference call, Akradi said Life Time is dedicating teams of two to three staff members per facility to personally interact with members to help them make full use of their club membership.
"We want a tighter relationship with our members," Akradi said. "We are attacking retention like we've never attacked it."
Akradi said 80 percent of the members who leave Life Time do so for one of three reasons: a physical move from the area, under-use of club facilities and dues.
"We can't do anything about a move and money," he said. "The only opportunity we have is to get members to use the club."
Akradi said Life Time is seeing "good growth" from its new facilities, five of which opened this year with one in
He said Life Time also plans to open six new clubs in each of the next two years in existing and new markets. Among those slated for opening in 2015 are clubs in
Akradi downplayed the impact of smaller and cheaper so-called studio fitness centers on Life Time's business.
Building more programs
"For five or six years, we've been building programs better than any studio. We have cycling classes, yoga classes. We haven't been sitting on our butt waiting for things to come and go," Akradi said. "We're seeing some of these studios with low barriers to entry putting the hurt on each other."
But Frederick of
Naughton said the average monthly dues for a Life Time member is
"People may be at a point wondering if they need to be paying
Life Time also announced Thursday that its board of directors has approved a
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