Planet Fitness

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

PFIP, LLC
Planet Fitness
TypePublic
NYSEPLNT (Class A)
Russell 2000 Component
IndustryFitness
Founded1992; 29 years ago (1992)
FoundersMichael Grondahl
Marc Grondahl
Number of locations
2,039[1]
Area served
North America
Key people
Chris Rondeau (CEO)
Websitewww.planetfitness.com

Planet Fitness (PFIP LLC) is an American franchisor and operator of fitness centers based in Hampton, New Hampshire.[2] The company reports that it has 2,039 clubs,[1] making it one of the largest fitness club franchises by number of members and locations. There are locations across the United States as well as in other countries such as Canada, Dominican Republic, Panama, and Mexico. In 2019 the franchise expanded to Australia.[3] It markets itself as a "Judgment Free Zone" that caters to novice and casual gym users and is reported to be the nation’s fastest growing fitness center franchise.[4]

History[edit]

A Planet Fitness location in Revere, Massachusetts in November 2012
Planet Fitness locations in the United States

In 1992, Michael and Marc Grondahl acquired a struggling Gold's Gym franchise in Dover, New Hampshire.[5] They closed that original location, and in 1993 they opened a new location named Coastal Fitness. They brought on a third partner, current CEO Chris Rondeau,[6] and in 1994 they changed their name to Planet Fitness.[7]

Michael Grondahl bought the Planet Fitness trademark from Rick Berks in 2002.[8] Rick Berks had started his own Planet Fitness gym in 1993 in Sunrise, Florida, and eventually expanded it to three clubs.[9] A former Broward Sheriff’s Office detective, he owned and operated a Gold's Gym franchise.[9][10] Berks had been catering to the bodybuilding culture in his Gold’s Gym. “I decided I didn’t want to deal with that crowd, so that’s when I opened the original Planet Fitness club in Sunrise, Florida, in 1993.” The name came from his daughter’s school project, “Fitness Planet.”[11] The new model was an effort to provide a fitness hub for everyday people.[8] Berks later went on to open the first Youfit Health Club in St. Petersburg, Florida.[12]

Rondeau and the Grondahls recognized that there was a greater opportunity to serve a much larger segment of the population if they changed the gym environment, both in attitude and format, by creating a non-intimidating, low-cost model.[13] Planet Fitness became known as the "Judgement Free Zone," aimed more at the average user than the bodybuilder type of fitness enthusiast.[14] They also dramatically reduced prices to compete against better-known brands.[15] This low-cost business model focuses on the needs of occasional or first-time health club members, rather than more experienced members,[4] and depends on many members rarely showing up.[16] According to a Planet Money episode from 2014, "half of the Planet Fitness members don't ever go to their gyms."[17]

As part of their effort to create a non-intimidating environment, Planet Fitness has alienated many serious weight lifters.[18] Some bodybuilders and weight lifters have found the way they're portrayed in Planet Fitness TV commercials to be offensive, and the way they're treated in Planet Fitness gyms to be "quite possibly discriminatory."[18] Planet Fitness has been criticized for prohibiting certain weightlifting exercises–such as deadlifts and clean-and-jerks–that many experts believe are highly effective.[19] In 2010, Men's Health magazine called Planet Fitness "the worst gym in America."[19]

As early as March 2015, the "Judgement Free Zone" policy has been expanded to allow trans women to use the women's locker room. The policy states that "members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity."[20]

In 2003, Planet Fitness opened its first franchised location in Florida, with Eric Dore and Shane McGuiness.[14]

In the fall of 2013, TSG Consumer Partners LLC became an equity partner in the Planet Fitness franchise.[21] Michael Grondahl, co-founder of Planet Fitness stepped down as CEO, and was succeeded by Chris Rondeau.[22][23] The company went public on August 6, 2015.[24]

In February 2016, the franchise was added to the Franchise Times' "Fast and Serious" list of top franchises (#1),[13] and in its 2016 ranking of franchises, Forbes magazine ranked Planet Fitness #4.[25] It ranked in the top 50 of Entrepreneur magazine's Franchise 500 in 2017.[26]

In 2020, the company received criticism for charging its customers for March dues "despite closing its facilities nationwide due to the novel coronavirus pandemic."[27] They stated that they were unable to stop the pre-scheduled payments on short notice, but would not charge future monthly dues until they reopen, and would also provide a credit for closed days previously paid for.[28]

Statistics and international expansion[edit]

The company reports that as of 2019, there are 80 corporate-owned gyms, the rest independently owned and operated.[29]

The club's two membership levels are $10 and $22.99 per month: the $10 per month level includes access to cardio and strength equipment, unlimited group fitness instruction and pizza and bagels once a month; the $22.99 per month ("Black Card") level allows members to bring one guest per day at no charge, access to all Planet Fitness locations, and access to extra amenities, such as tanning booths, massage chairs, red light therapy and water massage beds.[30][26]

In December 2014, Planet Fitness opened its first international location in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The second Toronto location opened in early 2015.[31][32] In October 2015 the company opened their second international location in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.[33]

With the addition of a Planet Fitness outlet in Hawaii in January 2018,[34] Planet Fitness had 1,500 locations with an estimated 10 million members across 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Panama[35] and Canada.[34][29] In 2016, over 90% of Planet Fitness locations were opened by existing franchise owners.[36]

Sponsorships[edit]

In October 2011, Planet Fitness reached an agreement with NBC to sponsor the network's reality show, The Biggest Loser beginning with the 2012 season.[37] The contestants on the show worked out on Planet Fitness equipment and then at Planet Fitness gyms near their homes, working with Planet Fitness instructors.[37]

In March 2013, Planet Fitness partnered with 50 Cent to sell his energy drink "Street King".[38]

Since December 2014, Planet Fitness has been the official fitness sponsor of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve on ABC.[39]

In March 2016, Planet Fitness partnered with STOMP Out Bullying,[40] a national organization dedicated to bullying prevention, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to launch the company's national philanthropic initiative, The Judgement Free Generation.[41] Also in 2016, the company donated more than $1 million to the program.[42][43][44] Planet Fitness has also provided mini "Judgement Free Zone" gyms to Boys & Girls Clubs in Manchester, New Hampshire[45] and Pasadena, California.[46]

In October 2017, Planet Fitness and its members raised $1 million which it donated to the non-profit Boys and Girls Clubs of America.[47]

In January 2020, Planet Fitness partnered with The Biggest Loser, to be the official sponsor of the show's 2020 reboot.[48]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "SEC Form 10Q Report, Q1". bamSEC.com. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  2. ^ Sullivan, Max (November 10, 2016). "Planet Fitness headquarters moving to Hampton". Seacoast online.com. GateHouse Media. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  3. ^ Hall, Nick. "4 international franchises that landed Down Under in 2019". Inside Franchise Business. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Schlossberg, Mallory (December 12, 2015). "The fastest-growing gym in America has $10 memberships and gives out free pizza, bagels, and candy". Business Insider. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  5. ^ Turner, Jeremiah. "Fit for franchising: From first gym in Dover, Planet Fitness building big brand". fosters.com. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  6. ^ "How Planet Fitness Became the Leader in Fitness Franchising - News". www.franchise-info.ca. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  7. ^ "Marc Grondahl of Planet Fitness: How a Lean Business Model Became a Franchise Heavyweight". Business Trends and Insights. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Zabonick-Chonko, Rachel (November 11, 2013). "Youfit Health Clubs". Club Solutions Magazine. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  9. ^ a b "YouFit Health Club expanding across South Florida, around nation | The Starting Gate". Miami Herald. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  10. ^ Brochu, Nicole. "No-frills gym offers fitness without flash". Sun-Sentinel.com. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  11. ^ "Meet Youfit's CEO Rick Berks". Youfit Youniverse. February 24, 2016. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  12. ^ "New gym in town hopes it's a good fit". San Diego Union-Tribune. April 19, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  13. ^ a b EWEN, Beth; KAISER, Tom; UPTON, Nicholas; WEINGARTNER, Nancy (February 23, 2016). "Fast and Serious: FT ranks the smartest-growing brands". FranchiseTimes.com. Franchise Times.
  14. ^ a b Taylor, Kate (July 25, 2014). "Franchise Players: We Were Planet Fitness's First Franchisees. Now, We Own 22 Locations". Entrepreneur.com. Entrepreneur Media. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  15. ^ Morrel, Katie (June 13, 2013). "Marc Grondahl of Planet Fitness: How a Lean Business Model Became a Franchise Heavyweight". Open Forum. American Express. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  16. ^ Jakab, Spencer (August 11, 2019). "Planet Fitness Must Come Down to Earth". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  17. ^ Swanson, Ana. "What your new gym doesn't want you to know". Washington Post. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  18. ^ a b O'Neil, Luke (May 8, 2011). "Planet Fitness vs. the lunkheads: Why is a health club trying to alienate people who love to work out?". Slate Magazine. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  19. ^ a b Carter, Kiera (December 29, 2010). "The Worst Gym in America?". Men's Health. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  20. ^ Grinberg, Emanuella (March 9, 2015). "Planet Fitness revokes woman's membership after transgender complaint". CNN.com. Cable News Network. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  21. ^ Lawrence, Kelli (August 15, 2013). "A World Of Their Own". Profile Magazine. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  22. ^ "Planet Fitness Has New Investor; Promotes Rondeau To CEO". TSG Consumer Partners. January 17, 2013.
  23. ^ "Former Radio Shack CFO Fills Planet Fitness Hole". WSJ.com. News Corp. July 26, 2013.
  24. ^ "Planet Fitness goes public, hits mark in first day of trading". Los Angeles Times. August 6, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  25. ^ Feldman, Amy (June 22, 2016). "Ranking America's Best And Worst Franchises: Which Are The Best Investments?". Forbes.
  26. ^ a b "2017 Top Franchises from Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 List". Entrepreneur.
  27. ^ Jakab, Spencer (March 23, 2020). "This Gym Chain Has Reason to Sweat". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  28. ^ McEnery, Thornton (March 19, 2020). "Planet Fitness members outraged over March bill amid coronavirus closures". New York Post. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  29. ^ a b "SEC Form 10Q Report, Q2". SEC.gov. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  30. ^ Tom, Lauren (December 24, 2015). "17 January Gym Discounts That Are Too Cheap to Pass Up". cosmopolitan.com. Hearst Corp.
  31. ^ "American gym powerhouse chooses Brampton for first suburban Canadian location".
  32. ^ Tucker, Rebecca (January 22, 2015). "Cheap 'n' cheerful chinups: Canada welcomes Planet Fitness, the $10 gym for those bad at gym". NationalPost.com. Postmedia Network Inc.
  33. ^ Stromgren, Eric (October 15, 2015). "Planet Fitness Continues International Expansion in Dominican Republic". Club Industry Magazine. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  34. ^ a b Hrushka, Anna (January 4, 2018). "Planet Fitness opens first Hawaii location at Ala Moana Center". Pacific Business News. American City Business Journals. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  35. ^ "Panama to Welcome Planet Fitness". Global Franchise magazine. August 16, 2017. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  36. ^ Rick, Munarriz (April 6, 2017). "10 Million Reasons to Get Pumped About Planet Fitness". Fox Business. News Corp. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  37. ^ a b Goldman, Stuart (October 11, 2011). "Planet Fitness to Sponsor 'The Biggest Loser'". ClubIndustry.com. Penton Media. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  38. ^ "50 Cent and Joan Rivers Kick It At The Gym [PHOTOS]". The Urban Daily. March 28, 2012. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  39. ^ Olenski, Steve (December 22, 2016). "Planet Fitness To Launch New Global Campaign On New Year's Eve". Forbes. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  40. ^ STOMP Out Bullying
  41. ^ Share, Susan (March 11, 2016). "The Judgement Free Zone: Judgement Free Generation Video Contest". www.myclubmylife.com. Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
  42. ^ Friedman, John (November 9, 2016). "Planet Fitness 'Judgment Free Zones' a Model of Inclusion". Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc.
  43. ^ Cameron, Courtney (January 2017). "Planet Fitness Anti-Bullying Initiative $1M Success". athleticbusiness.com. Athletic Business LLC.
  44. ^ "Planet Fitness Anti-Bullying Initiative $1M Success". thenewsandsentinel.com. The Parkersburg News & Sentinel. January 8, 2017.
  45. ^ Feely, Paul (September 9, 2016). "Planet Fitness debuts fitness room for kids at Boys and Girls Club in Manchester". UnionLeader.com. New Hampshire Union Leader. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  46. ^ Pasadena Now, Staff Reports (November 13, 2016). "Planet Fitness Opens Judgement Free Gym at Pasadena Boys and Girls Club". Pasadena Now. PASADENA NOW. LLC. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  47. ^ "Planet Fitness raises $1M for Boys and Girls Clubs of America". Fosters.com. Gatehouse Media Publications. November 28, 2017. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  48. ^ "Planet Fitness named national gym sponsor of 'The Biggest Loser'". seacoastonline.com. Retrieved February 19, 2020.

External links[edit]