If you pulled on your cross trainers and bounced into a fitness club during the last quarter, there is a high probability it was a Planet Fitness-the high-value, low-price (HVLP) chain with well over 1,300 locations.
Using foot traffic analysis pulled from the Foursquare City Guide and Swarm apps, Foursquare found that nearly 25% of gym-goers visited a Planet Fitness inside the second quarter of 2017. Put simply, of all individuals who entered a gym during that time frame, a quarter of them walked into a Planet Fitness at some time.
The numbers show the company is actually a juggernaut of the gym. As of March 31, 2017, Planet Fitness hours of operation boasted over ten million members in the United states, Puerto Rico, Canada as well as the Dominican Republic. (The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association reports that there were an overall total of 57.3 million health club members inside the United states in 2016.) Planet Fitness saw same-store sales increase 11.1% in the first quarter of 2017-and they’ve committed to opening 1,000 more locations.
Concurrently, mid-market gyms-national gyms like 24 / 7 Fitness and Snap Fitness along with regional chains like New York Sports Club and O2 Fitness Club-feel the squeeze. “Collectively, these chains lost 5% of their gym visit share during the last year,” Foursquare reports. The great thing is that Planet Fitness may actually be bolstering the mid-market gyms, not cannibalizing them.
The Foursquare data don’t imply that the people who walked in to a Planet Fitness last quarter didn’t also visit other health clubs. Rick Caro, president of Management Vision, Inc., a consulting firm dedicated to the health and fitness industry, noted that many people use HVLP clubs like Planet Fitness as being a “second gym.” As an example, a gym-goer may have a family membership with a pricier fitness club for your childcare and the classes…but additionally belong to a conveniently located Planet Fitness so she will pop set for a simple go on the elliptical on her way home from work. At only $10 per month on the low end, a Planet Fitness membership typically won’t break the bank for dedicated exercisers.
Caro says that portion of the reason Planet Fitness does so well is that they’re opening in smaller communities and then there weren’t quality facilities before, and the Seeking Alpha website notes that Planet Fitness’s target markets are “occasional gym users and the ones a new comer to fitness.” Because of the company’s low cost and ubiquity, “Planet Fitness is pulling individuals tfjmzj gym who wouldn’t ordinarily are available in,” concludes Jim Thomas, president of Jim Thomas Fitness Management & Consulting.
“That’s a fantastic situation for everyone if they see it right,” he adds. After they start visiting a low-priced gym like Planet Fitness and obtaining results, some members move up to higher-priced gyms to make the most of amenities like yoga classes, fitness consultations, and weight-loss challenges. (Plus they may keep their Planet Fitness membership also if Caro’s “second gym” statement is correct.)