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features

Editor's letter: Full integration

When retailer, the €11 billion-a-year Colruyt Group, decided to get into the health club market, the plan was to fully integrate its entire business using customer insight data. The results are remarkable

Published in Health Club Management 2024 issue 5

The power of customer data to deliver success is highlighted in this issue by our interview with Pieterjan Nuitten (page 32).

Nuitten is MD of Jims, the Belgian health and fitness operator which is part of the Colruyt Group – Belgium’s biggest retailer and a vast and widely-divested €11 billion a year operation.

The company has had a decades-long commitment to the wellbeing of its customers which culminated in the realisation that in order to fully embrace this philosophy, it had to add physical activity to its portfolio

The board of the Colruyt Group made the decision to enter the health club market and set Nuitten the task of buying a gym chain and fully integrating it into the group.

Jims was acquired in April 2021 and Nuitten has been busy since transforming the business and connecting it to the Colruyt portfolio of retail businesses.

With an MBA and a background in retail, he’s been using his expertise in customer insight to inform decision-making around the development of this wellness ecosystem.

The Jims clubs are used as hubs for access to other services within the group. If you’re a cyclist you can get specialist bike workouts, as well as bike fittings and discounts at Colruyt’s retailer, Bike Republic and if you’re looking for healthy eating advice, Jims can assess your nutritional needs and prescribe menus and with one click of the app, all the groceries you need are ready to collect from the group’s supermarkets. These are just a few examples of the integrations already established.

Putting a health club operation at the heart of such a wide-ranging commercial operation is a thrilling concept and ultimately, it’s customer data that’s driving these integrations. Retailers have this at their fingertips – and the expertise to use it effectively.

The fitness sector is starting to move in this direction, with companies such as Active Insights doing regular consumer insight studies and Savanta partnering with UK Active to create the new UK Active Consumer Insight Report, which will be produced each quarter.

With huge interest in wellness from consumers, developments such as those at Colruyt could take us into a new world in terms of monetising the offering.

It begs the question who will get there first? Will more retailers take market share with their advanced customer insight tools, or can health club operators up their game and come to better understand customers, leading to more commercially effective offerings? Only time will tell.

• Pieterjan Nuitten will be a speaker at the HCM Summit in London on 24 October More: www.HCMsummit.live

Liz Terry, editor
[email protected]

Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
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features

Editor's letter: Full integration

When retailer, the €11 billion-a-year Colruyt Group, decided to get into the health club market, the plan was to fully integrate its entire business using customer insight data. The results are remarkable

Published in Health Club Management 2024 issue 5

The power of customer data to deliver success is highlighted in this issue by our interview with Pieterjan Nuitten (page 32).

Nuitten is MD of Jims, the Belgian health and fitness operator which is part of the Colruyt Group – Belgium’s biggest retailer and a vast and widely-divested €11 billion a year operation.

The company has had a decades-long commitment to the wellbeing of its customers which culminated in the realisation that in order to fully embrace this philosophy, it had to add physical activity to its portfolio

The board of the Colruyt Group made the decision to enter the health club market and set Nuitten the task of buying a gym chain and fully integrating it into the group.

Jims was acquired in April 2021 and Nuitten has been busy since transforming the business and connecting it to the Colruyt portfolio of retail businesses.

With an MBA and a background in retail, he’s been using his expertise in customer insight to inform decision-making around the development of this wellness ecosystem.

The Jims clubs are used as hubs for access to other services within the group. If you’re a cyclist you can get specialist bike workouts, as well as bike fittings and discounts at Colruyt’s retailer, Bike Republic and if you’re looking for healthy eating advice, Jims can assess your nutritional needs and prescribe menus and with one click of the app, all the groceries you need are ready to collect from the group’s supermarkets. These are just a few examples of the integrations already established.

Putting a health club operation at the heart of such a wide-ranging commercial operation is a thrilling concept and ultimately, it’s customer data that’s driving these integrations. Retailers have this at their fingertips – and the expertise to use it effectively.

The fitness sector is starting to move in this direction, with companies such as Active Insights doing regular consumer insight studies and Savanta partnering with UK Active to create the new UK Active Consumer Insight Report, which will be produced each quarter.

With huge interest in wellness from consumers, developments such as those at Colruyt could take us into a new world in terms of monetising the offering.

It begs the question who will get there first? Will more retailers take market share with their advanced customer insight tools, or can health club operators up their game and come to better understand customers, leading to more commercially effective offerings? Only time will tell.

• Pieterjan Nuitten will be a speaker at the HCM Summit in London on 24 October More: www.HCMsummit.live

Liz Terry, editor
[email protected]

Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
More features
Editor's letter

Into the fitaverse

Fitness is already among the top three markets in the metaverse, with new technology and partnerships driving real growth and consumer engagement that looks likely to spill over into health clubs, gyms and studios
Fit Tech people

Ali Jawad

Paralympic powerlifter and founder, Accessercise
Users can easily identify which facilities in the UK are accessible to the disabled community
Fit Tech people

Hannes Sjöblad

MD, DSruptive
We want to give our users an implantable tool that allows them to collect their health data at any time and in any setting
Fit Tech people

Jamie Buck

Co-founder, Active in Time
We created a solution called AiT Voice, which turns digital data into a spoken audio timetable that connects to phone systems
Profile

Fahad Alhagbani: reinventing fitness

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Building on the blockchain

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Innovation

Bold move

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App analysis

Check your form

Sency’s motion analysis technology is allowing users to check their technique as they exercise. Co-founder and CEO Gal Rotman explains how
Profile

New reality

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Sohail Rashid

35 million people a week participate in strength training. We want Brawn to help this audience achieve their goals
Ageing

Reverse Ageing

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App analysis

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Workout Anytime created its app in partnership with Virtuagym. Workout Anytime’s Greg Maurer and Virtuagym’s Hugo Braam explain the process behind its creation
Research

Physical activity monitors boost activity levels

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have conducted a meta analysis of all relevant research and found that the body of evidence shows an impact
Editor's letter

Two-way coaching

Content providers have been hugely active in the fit tech market since the start of the pandemic. We expect the industry to move on from delivering these services on a ‘broadcast-only’ basis as two-way coaching becomes the new USP
Fit Tech People

Laurent Petit

Co-founder, Active Giving
The future of sports and fitness are dependent on the climate. Our goal is to positively influence the future of our planet by instilling a global vision of wellbeing and a sense of collective action
Fit Tech People

Adam Zeitsiff

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We don’t just create the technology and bail – we support our clients’ ongoing hybridisation efforts
Fit Tech People

Anantharaman Pattabiraman

CEO and co-founder, Auro
When you’re undertaking fitness activities, unless you’re on a stationary bike, in most cases it’s not safe or necessary to be tied to a screen, especially a small screen
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Managing partner, Endorphinz
We noticed a big gap in the market – customers needed better insights but also recommendations on what to do, whether that be customer acquisition, content creation, marketing and more
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