Planet Fitness bulks up with niche market share

    Planet Fitness is expanding by going lean, pulling in customers with a $10-a-month membership fee and a no-frills atmosphere.

    As other gyms add juice bars and workout classes to emulate high-end boutique studios, Planet Fitness, as The Wall Street Journal reports, is winning over newcomers with a simple selection of machines, free pizza nights and television commercials that poke fun at gym buffs.

    It seems to be working. The fitness chain is one of the country’s fastest-growing, attracting casual clients looking for an affordable way to workout when the mood strikes as well as serving as a cheap second gym for workout enthusiasts

    Planet Fitness’s revenue has increased more than 30% over the past year and its valuation has nearly quadrupled to about $6.2 billion since it went public in 2015. The chain has more than 12.5 million members and operates over 1,700 locations, including three in the Baton Rouge area, with the goal of ultimately running 4,000 sites.

    Revenue in the U.S. health-and-fitness-club sector climbed 44% over the past five years, hitting $32.3 billion last year, and is expected to reach $43 billion by 2023, according to research firm Mintel Group Ltd. The rise in spending has helped spawn a new ecosystem of premium fitness studios offering classes for spin, yoga, barre and boot-camp workouts as well as boxing and strength training.

    Planet Fitness, founded in 1992, has gone the other way, For many members, the chain is a counterweight to expensive workouts they do elsewhere. Read the full story.

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