The franchising power of Planet Fitness seems to know no bounds and is becoming a clear driver for future gains, CEO Chris Rondeau told CNBC on Thursday.
“We’ve been growing rapidly since we started franchising in ’03. We finally hit our 50th state just last month, in Hawaii,” Rondeau told Cramer. “Our scale now is a true competitive advantage.”
With 1,500 locations and over 10.5 million customers across the United States, Planet Fitness has established itself as the country’s largest and fastest growing chain of fitness centers focused on first-time gym-goers.
“We’ve been opening about 200 [locations] a year for the last couple years here and plan to do so in the upcoming years,” Rondeau said.
And when it comes to low-cost competitors — even Planet Fitness’ premium plan costs a modest $21.99 a month — the CEO said the real rivalry isn’t about being affordable.
“They’re really doing the old model. They’re not catering to the first-timer kind of gym user,” he said. “It’s not about being affordable. It’s about being judgment-free and being comfortable so people can come in and give fitness a try.”