Planet Fitness is anticipating future growth and looks to Sears and Kmart vacancies as ideal opportunities. The retailer plans to backfill a lot of these recent retail vacancies and looks to landlords as a use that can drive traffic and that “can’t be Amazoned”. Planet Fitness continues to grow its membership base now at 12.1 million, up from 10.4 million a year ago with a total of 1,608 stores mostly in North America. Between 2013 and 2017, the company added on average 187 new locations per year, only closing 22 sites since the brand was founded (only a 1.35% all time store closure rate). Majority of the growth for the brand will consist of new locations within shopping centers.
Fitness Concepts are a great use to be considered by landlords as a tenant to their shopping centers. They are able to replace missing anchors, drive traffic to the property and are primarily internet resistant. The average Planet Fitness for instance generates approx. 5,000 workouts per week per unit. Fitness uses create daily traffic to a center which in turn supports other tenants at the property. Boutique fitness concepts are rapidly expanding as well with names like Orange Theory, Tough Mudder Bootcamp, Row House, SoulCycle, Pure Barre, Title Boxing and many more. These uses can be ideal for a strip center landlord because they are able to operate in much less square footage, traditionally 2,500 – 4,000 sf and can do wonders to support local mom and pop styled tenants. Be careful what you wish for! These uses create a lot of traffic which is good, however be sure to plan ahead and make the sure the property can accommodate the need for the increase in parking at center.