THE FITNESS CLUB’S DIFFICULTIES AND COPING STRATEGIES IN THE COVID-19 CONTEXT
Abstract - The purpose of this study is to explore the fitness club’s difficulties and coping strategies in the context of COVID-19 based on a disaster management framework. A qualitative research design method will be adopted to address the issue studied. Ten fitness clubs’ business owners and senior managers were invited to participate in an in-depth interview. The findings indicate that prior to the pandemic, fitness clubs do not have adequate epidemic prevention measures in place. During the prodromal stage, preparations are made to procure epidemic prevention supplies and intensify cleanliness education. In the emergency stage, various challenges are encountered, including insufficient cash flow, customer attrition, unfavorable policies, and a lack of flexibility. The coping strategies employed encompass implementing social distancing measures, salary reductions, keeping customer relationships, and aiding customers in maintaining their exercise routines. In the intermediate stage, difficulties are faced due to unclear reopening policies, customer distrust, and challenges in recruitment and training. The coping strategies involved bolstering marketing efforts, increasing promotional activities, and consistently reinforcing cleanliness protocols. Strategies for long-term recovery include adjusting operating costs and business models, forming cross-industry alliances/diversified operations, and establishing robust financial practices.
Keywords - Fitness Club, Disaster Management, COVID-19, Coping Strategy.