Kidzania enters the sports club business with the new Kinezis brand. After five years of planning and some delays due to the pandemic, the Mexican company is finally ready to open its first center in the Mundo E shopping center, in the State of Mexico, where it plans to receive 900,000 visitors a year.
“We wanted to diversify and we saw an opportunity in wellness. We investigated everything that existed around the subject and launched this new proposal”, said Xavier López Ancona, general director of Kidzania, in an interview with Expansión .
This holistic wellness center –as described by the manager– required an approximate investment of 430 million pesos, 7.5% more than initially budgeted, due to the shortage of chips for some of the machinery imported from Germany, Bulgaria, Spain and China, and to general price increases.
In addition to rising inflation and supply chain breaks, the company also faced shortages of some raw materials needed for the rides, such as aluminum, which added to the delay in opening the center.
But the company took advantage of that delay to polish the concept. “It gave us time and opportunity to think and put more content, many activities that we had not contemplated at the beginning, such as Taman (spa),” said López Ancona. “It is the first time that a gym, a health center and an entertainment center have been brought together in the same place. To do this we invested five years of time”, he added.
Kidzania will seek to get the most out of the facilities, so they will work by schedule. The boutique gym – which will offer 16 different classes, such as cardio, pilates and yoga with HD screens – will work in the morning and in the evening.
Between 10 in the morning and 6 in the afternoon, the facilities will be used to offer 42 activities -such as trampolines, ball pools, zip lines and jump nets-. There will also be a spa called Taman, which will incorporate a temazcal, massages, and medical attention and mentoring focused on sports.
For the manager, this is a good moment for the opening of Kinezis, since he considers that people have greater confidence to return to gyms, in addition to the fact that the trend towards well-being also had a boost after Covid-19. “We are already seeing a recovery and we believe that it is the right time to present this unique platform in the world of wellness ”, he said.
Diversifying a business
For the creator of Kidzania, having a project that would allow them to diversify the business was a priority before the pandemic, but it became more relevant after the closure of the 27 children’s entertainment centers of the Mexican company around 25 countries in the world. including Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Portugal, Kuwait, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the United States.
The company has had a strong development in cities with a population density of between four and six million people, such as Fukuoka, Qatar and Dubai, so with this new concept they seek to reach smaller towns, since they can be installed within malls.
And there is also option to export the project. “With this concept there is a very big and very clear opportunity, while shopping centers are going to live from these experiences,” says López Ancona. “This project is much more scalable. We are going to test it for a year and we are going to make a format that is easy to replicate throughout the world in a traditional franchise scheme,” he adds.
The businessman is confident that Kinezis will grow faster than Kidzania, because they already know the international markets, and it is a project that may also be attractive to investors with whom they already work.
Meanwhile, there is also opportunity to grow even with the supply of gyms and sports clubs that exists in the global health and fitness club market, which was valued at 81,000 million dollars in 2020, and is projected to grow at a compound annual rate. (CARG) of 7.21% between 2021 and 2026, according to Mordor Intelligence projections.
The consultancy estimates that gyms with personal training, training rooms, metabolic testing equipment, medical exercise areas and spas are gaining popularity among consumers, which will influence the growth of the market in the coming years.
“Sports clubs are getting smaller and they are competing on price, but that is also lowering services. None of them have this holistic theme, so we have a very big differentiator with the necessary physical distancing,” López Ancona said. “If Kidzania hit a lot 22 years ago, this is going to revolutionize,” he concludes.