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Catherine Colbert

Planet Fitness Bulks Up

by Catherine Colbert | Dun & Bradstreet Editor

September 30, 2015 | No Comments »

Planet Fitness gym logo signPlanet Fitness now eclipses its rivals.

The fitness club chain has grown its membership base to all-time highs by luring workout enthusiasts with budget-friendly $10 monthly fees and pat-on-the-back perks like Pizza Mondays and Bagel Tuesdays.

The 23-year-old company, which opened its 1,000th store in mid-2015, altogether serves more than 7 million members.

Planet Fitness has reached this milestone through its uncomplicated approach to fitness and by offering the basics. Its no-frills clubs pale in comparison to the competition’s fitness classes, lap pools, tennis courts, climbing walls, boxing rings, club-provided childcare, and unlimited personal training, among other perks. The company’s target customer isn’t looking for a spa experience, though, and this has worked in its favor and has fueled growth.

The fitness chain has bulked up in recent years to become much bigger than even the industry’s longtime heavyweights.

Planet Fitness casts a shadow on giant Gold’s Gym, with its 650 locations and 3 million members. The no-frills chain is twice the size of rival 24 Hour Fitness, which operates 425 fitness centers and caters to 4 million members. Planet Fitness now has 10 times more clubs than both Bally Total Fitness and Life Time Fitness.

The nation’s largest and fastest-growing franchisor and operator of fitness centers, Planet Fitness went public in August 2015, raising $216 million by selling 13.5 million shares. The fitness club operator is looking to muscle its way into new markets as a public company. For the year, bullish Planet Fitness has forecast revenue to reach as high as $316 million, which beats analysts’ expectations.

Industry Impact — Fast-growing fitness chains like Planet Fitness are successfully serving budget-minded customers who are looking for an uncomplicated club that offers basic equipment, including free weights, weight machines, and cardio equipment such as treadmills, ellipticals, and recumbent bikes. Boutique fitness centers should reconsider which costly perks are worth offering their members to turn a profit.

Tracking the moves of consumer products makers since 2003, Catherine Colbert is a company insights writer and blogger. Before covering companies, she spent ample time in magazine publishing, technical writing, ad copywriting, medical writing, and marketing. Follow her on Twitter.

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