Virgin Active Bets on Social Wellness in Singapore

Virgin Active

Virgin Active is revamping its Singapore clubs.

What’s happening: The global gym chain and aspiring social wellness brand is committing $5M to transform five sites with experiences that elevate members “mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally”.

The improvements run parallel to an ongoing holistic health-led upgrade for the UK’s 32 sites.

With the Singaporean network already offering salt, ice and steam rooms, sleep pods and pools, the backing adds Hyperice-equipped Fitness Therapy Zones, extra spin and HIIT studio space and new kit such as Rogue Echo Bikes and Technogym’s Pure Line.

Social future. Virgin Active’s Fitness Trends Survey 2024 found that members prioritised recreational spaces (73%), wellness programmes (71%) and community-focused social bonding activities (60%).

Believing the traditional gym is “no longer relevant”, Julien Bera, Virgin Active’s Country Director in Southeast Asia, sees the brand’s future spread equally across wellness, recovery and social programming.

“The future of the industry requires us to go beyond creating spaces for fitness and transforming them into holistic hubs. Virgin Active is here to provide social wellness clubs; setting a standard where one’s fitness, wellness and social experience is holistic.”

Global changes. As loneliness bites, the evolving leisure landscape reflects the gradual shift in consumer demand for social fitness, recovery and wellness under one roof.

  • US social wellness club Remedy Place builds its offering around three core pillars: self-care, human connection and design.
  • Canada’s Othership disrupts the status quo with its social bathhouse, pioneering group sauna classes with guided sessions, rituals and conversation.
  • In Australia, TotalFusion’s Platinum concept is a one-stop-shop for fitness, healthcare and wellness, while Saint Haven anchors social connection and longevity.

Takeaway: More than a post-pandemic hangover, consumers’ thirst for human connection, health and well-being is disrupting gym and spa culture. As Virgin Active’s survey shows, members’ tastes are changing, so clubs only serving sides of social may need to move to mains.

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