June 05, 2009 // Franchising.com // San Antonio, TX – After experiencing exponential franchise growth and creating more than 1,200 jobs in the U.S. since 2004, Massage Heights, the nation's fastest growing membership-based massage therapy franchises, has announced an aggressive international expansion strategy calling for 125 franchise locations throughout Canada in the next five years.
International expansion will be led by one of North America's renowned franchise developers, Peter Thomas. Thomas, the newly appointed President of Massage Heights Canada, is currently scouting real estate sites throughout British Columbia for Canada's premier Massage Heights franchise with plans to break ground on 20 new locations in the next six months. Australia, the United Kingdom and Mexico are next on the list for global growth with goals to sign on regional franchise developers in these countries within the next 18 months.
"There is tremendous opportunity for Massage Heights' franchise growth throughout Canada and the world, because consumers are realizing they can receive top-notch massage therapy services at a fraction of the price they would pay at a full-service spa," said Glenn Franson, CEO of Massage Heights. "We are thrilled that Peter Thomas recognizes the growth potential of our brand throughout Canada and will be able to use his extensive experience in franchising to spearhead our global expansion."
As the founder and Chairman of Century 21 Real Estate Canada Ltd., Thomas developed the franchise into the largest real estate network in Canada. When he sold the company in1987, its more than 450 franchise locations grossed $9 billion in annual sales. Thomas also founded Mystic Tan Canada in 2002 and led the development of the Four Seasons Resort and Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is currently the founder and Chairman of LifePilot, a British Columbia based not-for-profit organization established in 2002, which seeks to empower people to live fulfilling, balanced lives and to realize their highest personal potential.
"The market for membership-based massage therapy services in Canada is virtually untapped," said Thomas. "With a proven, recession-proof businesses model, Massage Heights is the leader in the massage therapy industry in the U.S. and soon to be in Canada and throughout the world."
Despite weak consumer spending on vacations and luxury goods and services, Massage Heights had an impressive 16 percent increase in same-store sales in the U.S. from 2007 to 2008. Since its founding in 2004, Massage Heights has grown to more than 55 franchise locations across the U.S. with 26 of those locations launching operation just last year. System-wide revenues for Massage Heights topped $17 million in 2008 with projections to reach $40 million in system-wide sales this year.
Founded in 2004, Massage Heights is a membership-based massage therapy franchise offering guests the high-end massage therapy services found at a luxurious spa at an affordable price. With 55 operating franchises, company plans call for nearly 300 additional locations by 2010, with a total of 1,620 locations within the next five years. The average cost to open a Massage Heights franchise is between $228,000 to $446,000 with a franchise fee of $42,000. Single and multiple units, as well as regional development opportunities are available. Massage Heights is now offering a 10 percent discount on the initial franchise fee for military veterans.