Scaling Up in a Down Market: Fitness and Massage Franchises Realize Growth in Slow Economy

October 13, 2008 // Franchising.com // HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. - The International Franchise Association (IFA) reports there are now about 3,000 different franchise concepts, each competing for the attention of people who want to own their own business. According to a survey conducted by Franchise Media Update Group in San Jose, California, new inquiries from people interested in buying a franchise business opportunity are down 48%.

However, Colorado-based Fitness Together Holdings, Inc., the world's largest wellness company, continues to defy the odds with record interest among potential franchisees. With its two franchised business models: Fitness Together (www.fitnesstogether.com), the world's largest personal training organization; and elements therapeutic massage (www.touchofelements.com), a massage therapy concept, this wellness company is poised to grow its franchise network to over 1,000 locations in the next 24 months, up from the 705 locations sold to date.

"Not only did we realize an increase in the number of people interested in our franchise brands in 2007 over 2006, but we've already surpassed those 2007 numbers in the first three quarters of this year," said Samuel Hirschberg, vice president of franchise marketing for Fitness Together Holdings, Inc.

Fitness Together Franchise Corporation began franchising small personal training studios in 1996, offering every customer a tailored workout with his or her own personal trainer. The company has awarded more than 600 franchises and now has 419 fitness studios open in five countries. The franchisees employ more than 3,000 fitness trainers who are responsible for providing professional personal training services to nearly 20,000 clients each week.

elements therapeutic massage, Inc. began franchising in November, 2006 and has become one of the fastest-growing franchise concepts in America. The massage therapy franchisor has sold more than 100 franchises in 18 months and now has 55 franchised massage studios open in 19 states.

"I believe our success comes from more people interested in looking better, feeling better and taking better care of themselves which is causing the wellness industry to show growth," Hirschberg said. "The growing wellness industry combined with entrepreneurs who have a passion for helping people live a better quality of life through their own franchise business is a winning formula."

About Fitness Together Holdings, Inc.:

Based in Highlands Ranch, Colo., Fitness Together Holdings, Inc., is the world's largest wellness organization. The parent company oversees Fitness Together Franchise Corporation, a one-on-one personal training fitness franchise established in 1996, and elements therapeutic massage www.touchofelements.com, a massage therapy franchise that began franchising in 2006. Today, the combined franchise network includes more than 700 franchises across the United States, Costa Rica, Israel, Ireland, and Canada.

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