Planet Fitness Australia to launch 35 studios
Massive US gym giant Planet Fitness is officially on its way Down Under, after the brand announced two new partnerships. The Planet Fitness Australia expansion is set to deliver a minimum of 35 new studios nationwide, significantly bolstering the chain’s global footprint.
The latest development has been an enormous undertaking for the international conglomerate, which boasts more than 14 million members across all 50 US states, Canada and South America. The new Planet Fitness Australia venture will operate as a franchisee of the US business, with all sites to be owned and operated centrally.
Ray Miolla, chief development office for Planet Fitness said Australia had been the radar for quite some time.
“We are excited to announce our plans to expand the Planet Fitness brand into Australia,” said Miolla.
“Australia represents a unique opportunity to grow in a market that combines a favourable operational environment, consumer affinity for US brands, a desirable competitive landscape and an opportunity to develop a large fleet of clubs.”
Planet Fitness partnerships
The US chain secured an area development agreement with Bravo Fit Holdings Pty Ltd, however has also partnered with local operator Dallas Rosekelly’s Galactic Fitness Pty. The Aussie-born business was founded 25 years ago in Newcastle and shared the Planet Fitness name, despite having no affiliation.
Tanner Halton, experience officer Planet Fitness Australia confirmed that Rosekelly’s existing Planet Fitness studios would be revamped in-line with the global fitness icon’s branding.
“These health clubs have been at the heart of the Central Coast community for a long time and have developed a loyal following,” Halton told Inside Franchise Business.
“They will continue to operate and we plan to provide them with a Planet Fitness facelift while also opening new health clubs in Newcastle over the next few years.”
Planet Fitness Australia expansion
The Planet Fitness Australia expansion will kick off with country’s first official ‘Judgement Free’ zones at Tuggerah and Gosford on the NSW Central Coast, followed by an additional location at Casula expected to open in 2020.
The ‘Judgement Free’ initiative is catered towards the first-time gym-goer, opening the potential for a wide scope of prospective clients. Members can enjoy a relaxed, not invasive studio environment that offers equipment for workout novice or the experienced gym-junkie.
Additionally, the new Planet Fitness Australia model will focus on value. Similar to the US initiative, weekly memberships start from just $5, including a wealth of benefits and additional perks.
“Planet Fitness aims to keep costs as low as possible, which means we rely on acquiring a greater number of members than our competitors,” Halton revealed.
“We’ve had great success so far in Gosford and Tuggerah, aiming to cater to first time or casual gym-goers – the 85 per cent of the population that does not belong to a health club and therefore, we don’t compete for the same members as traditional health club or studio fitness boutiques.”
The new Planet Fitness Australia expansion is set to deliver at least 35 new studios across the east-coat of Australia, with Halton revealing a community approach is key.
“Our focus is on building one great club and one great community at time,” Halton said. “Thirty-five is minimum and we are initially looking on the east coast of Australia
News of the Planet Fitness Australia expansion emerged late last week, coinciding with a jump in trading for the US franchisor. Planet Fitness stocks were trading up 10 per cent at last report on Friday.