Health club group Planet Fitness announced today, Monday, 9 October 2006, that it intends to quadruple in size during the next four years, increasing its current market share by a similar quotient. Currently, Planet Fitness has in excess of 155 000 members across 11 branches, with three new venues due to open shortly.
Mannee de Wet, MD of Planet Fitness
The group also plans on investing in several other new sites, having already identified more than 25 new growth node locations.
Now in its tenth year, Planet Fitness has experienced accelerated growth during the latter half of its decade in operation. MD Mannee de Wet believes that the growth, approaching and average of 26% year on year since 2001, is not only due to increased consumer consciousness of a healthier lifestyle, but also the result of strategic ahead-planning through consistent research and sound business models.
"The Planet Fitness model has proven that investment into the health club category is a viable and long term investment poised for growth - anchored in sound corporate governance."
The group was also the first to introduce 24 hour access to facilities, and invests heavily into its product offering and new product development, including specialised equipped areas and programmes for children in its Planet Play offering, indoor running tracks and women's only training areas.
De Wet also believes that the groups' product offering delivers more than just a gym. "Tracking social trends through constant research indicates consumer needs and, in anticipation of trends, Planet Fitness continually develops new products that match or adapt to the ever-changing socio and demographic profiles and needs of South African consumers."
In line with international trends, De Wet expects the health club category to grow during the next 4 - 5 years, in tandem with the group's own expansion plans, and the demand for niche services such as its more private training areas to increase as well.
The health club/gym market has grown exponentially during the past decade, says de Wet. Society's recognition of the long term benefits of a healthier lifestyle has boosted awareness of the benefits of regular training and nutrition and, with the recent recognition of worldwide health problems related to obesity and unhealthy lifestyles, and the group expects demand for facilities and services offered by Planet Fitness to continue to grow.