Top 250 Franchise by Entrepreneur – Rank no.74 – Planet Fitness – US
Products & Services: Fitness club
Number of Locations: 548
Total Investment: $672.59K – 1.65M
Began Franchising: 2003
Planet Fitness got its start in 1992 when Michael Grondahl acquired a struggling gym. He reduced membership prices to compete against better-known brands and focused on serving occasional or first-time gym users. Every Planet Fitness location holds a pizza night for members once a month, as well as a bagel morning, and Tootsie Rolls are available at all times. Each gym also has a “Lunk Alarm" to discourage behaviors such as grunting and dropping weights.
Net Worth: $1,300,000
Liquid Cash Available: $400,000
40% of all franchisees own more than one unit. Absentee ownership of franchise is NOT allowed. (70% of current franchisees are owner/operators).
|FINANCING TYPE||IN-HOUSE||THIRD PARTY|
A Planet Fitness location in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan in April 2010.
|Trading name||Planet Fitness|
|Industry||Exercising, Health Clubs|
|Number of locations||642|
Planet Fitness is an American franchise of fitness centers based in Newington, New Hampshire. Each gym features exercise equipment and personal trainers to assist its members. It markets itself as a “Judgement Free Zone", though somewhat controversially it has rules in place to discourage bodybuilders, power-lifters and “grunters". Planet Fitness opened its 500th location on December 27, 2012.
As of January 2012 it is the national gym sponsor of NBC‘s reality show The Biggest Loser. The contestants on the show will work out on Planet Fitness equipment while at The Biggest Loser Ranch in Calabasas, California, and then at Planet Fitness gyms near their homes, working with Planet Fitness personal trainers.
The fitness club was founded in 1992, when Michael Grondahl acquired a financially struggling gym and dramatically reduced prices to compete against better-known brands. The low-cost business model focuses on the needs of occasional or first-time health club members rather than more experienced members.
There are eleven corporately owned gyms, with the rest being independently owned and operated. The franchise is concentrated mostly in the Northeast, but it is a nationwide franchise. The Franchise has been added to the Inc. 500 list.
The chain was the subject of controversy in 2006 because of a New York Times article describing the public cancellation of a patron’s membership (for “grunting") at their Wappingers Falls, New York location. The event resulted in the club calling the police on the member, and later a lawsuit for defamation on the part of the ex-member, which was ultimately settled for an undisclosed amount.