Playing favorites

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A new year is often equated with renewed commitments to improving one’s health and making an extra effort to look better externally, too. With that in mind, a new study by Market Force Information explored consumer preferences in fitness and beauty.

The key takeaways: Consumers prefer their local YMCA or YWCA over all other national gym chains, and many gym-goers are planning to switch gyms in the next three months. On the beauty front, MAC and Clinique are America’s favorite cosmetic brands, and Macy’s is their favorite department store for cosmetics.

Drilling down into the data, the study revealed that of the more than 2,700 consumers who reported having gym memberships with national brands, Planet Fitness is winning the most market share, with 27 percent of participants holding memberships there, followed by YMCA/YWCA and LA Fitness.

However, one in four is dissatisfied with their gyms, and one in 10 is very likely to change gyms in the next 90 days. YMCA/YWCA customers are the least likely to switch.

Market Force also evaluated fitness centers based on consumers’ satisfaction and their likelihood to recommend the center to others. YMCA/YWCA ranked first with 51 percent, followed by Planet Fitness with 47 percent.

When it comes to makeup product lines, MAC and Clinique lead the pack; the two brands tied for No. 1 with 13 percent of the vote, followed by bareMinerals/Bare Escentuals with 10 percent and Urban Decay with 7 percent.

Mass retailers such as Walmart or Target are the most frequented stores for cosmetic purchases for 30 percent of respondents; 24 percent purchase most frequently from specialty retailers such as Sephora or MAC, 16 percent from drug stores and 13 percent from department stores.

Sephora is the crowd favorite among specialty retailers that sell cosmetics, followed by Ulta and MAC. Macy’s took the No. 1 spot among department store chains, and was trailed by Dillard’s and Nordstrom.

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