A gymnasium membership within the United States usually prices round $50 a month. Boutique gyms and high-intensity courses run double and triple that.
Planet Fitness, nevertheless, has provided $10 month-to-month memberships for 30 years. The no-frills gymnasium chain hasn’t raised the value, making it one of many few issues that also prices the identical regardless of the highest inflation in a long time.
Planet Fitness blares out the $10 gymnasium plan, which incorporates annual charges and free coaching, in commercials, and the corporate has lengthy sponsored the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square to get folks fascinated by signing up for memberships as their decision.
That virtually sacrosanct $10 value has develop into a key a part of the corporate’s brand positioning as an accessible, “judgment-free” membership conducive to informal gymnasium goers. Planet Fitness members usually go 5 or 6 instances a month, and round 60% of them don’t go to in a 30-day stretch.
“It’s a really highly effective advertising software,” mentioned Simeon Siegel, who covers the corporate at BMO Capital Markets. The $10 value is true within the candy spot, he mentioned: low-cost sufficient to attract folks to Planet Fitness who wish to get in form and, equally as necessary, not so costly that they’ll cancel in the event that they don’t go typically.
For $10 a month, rare customers are likelier to carry onto the membership to say they belong to a gymnasium reasonably than give up, he mentioned.
Planet Fitness makes use of $10 dues, which may be canceled at anytime, to recruit people who find themselves curious about exercising, however have by no means joined a gymnasium earlier than, are intimidated by health fanatics at different gyms or can’t afford pricier golf equipment. The firm believes $10 is an entryway for the roughly 80% of Americans who don’t belong to a gymnasium.
This cheap gymnasium membership mannequin – identified within the health trade as excessive quantity, low value, or “HVLP” – can be tailor-made to enchantment to high-school college students accompanied by a father or mother, faculty college students and folks recovering from an damage or surgical procedure, mentioned Rick Caro, the president of Management Vision and longtime health trade advisor.
“It’s a ‘get you off the sofa’ value,” mentioned Christopher Rondeau, the chief govt of Planet Fitness
(PLNT), which has grown to greater than 2,300 gyms nationwide and reached a record-high 16.6 million members final quarter. “You’re not going to offer one thing a attempt for the primary time and spend $50, $60, $70,” he mentioned.
Planet Fitness doesn’t plan to lift the $10 value anytime quickly. Instead, it is going to maintain down the value by getting folks to commerce as much as its $24.99 month-to-month “Black Card” membership with extra perks.
“The longer I can keep at $10 the higher off I’m to get folks off the sofa, give health a attempt to proceed to drive extra worth within the Black Card,” mentioned Rondeau.
The higher-priced month-to-month plan provides entry to all of Planet Fitness’ gyms and perks like water therapeutic massage beds, therapeutic massage chairs and tanning gear, and Black Card members may carry a customer.
More than 60% of members subscribe to this tier, which Planet Fitness elevated by $2 a month earlier within the yr. The common Planet Fitness member pays round $17.60 a month, serving to the corporate preserve the decrease plan at $10.
“It’s not that totally different from different companies that entice you with a low value level after which upsell you with increased choices,” mentioned Joseph Altobello, an analyst at Raymond James.
To enchantment to occasional gymnasium goers, Planet Fitness’ golf equipment even have extra cardio and light-weight energy gear than many rivals and fewer heavy free weights. Planet Fitness discourages what it calls “lunk” habits, akin to dropping weights and grunting, and has a “lunk alarm” to stop folks from dropping them.
Planet Fitness has benefited from the consolidation of the health trade through the pandemic, which has left the corporate with fewer budget-gym rivals.
Around 25% of US gyms and studios completely closed through the pandemic – roughly 10,000 services, in keeping with the trade commerce group. Several main chains, together with 24 Hour Fitness and Gold’s Gym, filed for chapter.
Planet Fitness, nevertheless, didn’t completely shut any gyms through the pandemic. This was largely because of its franchise gymnasium mannequin, with among the gyms owned by private-equity teams.
The firm has additionally capitalized on Americans seeking to get in form within the aftermath of the pandemic. Monthly visits to US gyms are increased than they had been in 2019, in keeping with Placer.ai, which tracks foot visitors to retailers.
Despite the rise of Peloton and the at-home exercises many individuals bought used to throughout pandemic lockdowns, at-home train shouldn’t be a menace to Planet Fitness’ $10 mannequin.
“It’s a unique buyer,” Altobello mentioned. “Not everybody has the cash or the area to create an at-home gymnasium.”