Date: 6th May 2019
Gym chain Planet Fitness has planned to fill in the places abandoned by stores Toys ‘R’ Us and Sears. As per the statement of the gym chain this week, it plans to inaugurate about 225 more gyms in the country by the end of the year.
While the total number of new gyms this year was announced, Planet Fitness did not specify the number of those opening in the old Toys ‘R’ Us and Sears stores.
The gym chain has progressed in terms of its scale of operations over the years. It currently has over 1,800 gyms in the US which is a 60 per cent increase from figures three years ago.
The gym membership is just $10 per month. The company has shown skyrocketing sales figures for 12 consecutive years. As a result, its share price has risen continuously for the last 4 years. About 80 per cent of Americans do not go to a gym which makes investors positive about the future of the gym chain. This is because it has a huge potential market still waiting to be captured.
While stores like Toys ‘R’ Us and Sears have been steamrolled by the likes of e-commerce giant Amazon, Planet Fitness, on the other hand, is not affected by that. Wall Street thus calls it ‘Amazon-proof’.
Executives of the gym chain have credited their success to various factors including the increasing awareness of the benefits of being fit. The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association says that gym memberships have risen by 37 per cent since 2008 in the country. Another reason, which is quite evident, is the departure of retail stores from the market. This leaves previous real estate for the likes of Planet Fitness.
The closure of as many as 6,000 stores this year has led to landlords looking for other sustainable businesses to replace the old ones. It turns out that gyms are one of those sustainable businesses.