March 15, 2017 // Franchising.com // COLTS NECK, N.J. - With high-cost boutique concepts crowding the $81 billion health club sector, Retro Fitness has stood against the competition, building success by pushing the envelope on current fitness trends.
The national low-cost, high-value fitness franchise opened 14 gyms and signed more than 20 new franchise agreements for new or emerging market development in 2016. The 155-unit franchise has 100-plus gyms in its development pipeline and has already opened four locations this year. All told, Retro Fitness is on track to have 250 gyms open in the next two years.
A key impetus influencing the brand’s success is its history of taking proven, popular fitness trends and making them affordable for a wide range of consumers, all while boasting a similar, and oftentimes better, workout experience. For example, when group fitness classes began gaining popularity, a second-tier membership at Retro Fitness was introduced at $29.99/month for unlimited group fitness classes, ranging from spin and yoga to boxing and Zumba. Flash forward to today and consumers will find the New Exercise Order, a sub-brand launched by Retro Fitness CEO Eric Casaburi in response to the growing popularity of functional training.
“We’re taking the best of functional training and boot camp classes and making it a far more effective and affordable fitness regimen for our members than what they would get at a boutique fitness studio,” Casaburi commented about the New Exercise Order.
The New Exercise Order provides a solution to members of all fitness levels and desired price points by offering three training tiers comprised of Team Conditioning (TEAM), Small Group Strength Training (SGST) and One on One Training (1:1). The program powers the franchise’s Retro Results personal training program, which also incorporates cutting-edge technology that gamifies the workout experience. It starts at $69.99/month and began entering Retro Fitness gyms in late 2016 with a network-wide rollout this year.
“Our members can join at the lowest training membership tier and get the same workout that they would pay $149/month for at a boutique concept. We are innovating fitness and doing it at affordable prices, something we’ve done since our inception,” Casaburi said. “This is a game changer for our brand. Member adoption continues to rise rapidly and franchise prospects are increasingly becoming interested in our position in the marketplace.”
Franchise investors aren’t the only ones noticing the company’s growth. Retro Fitness has ranked for three consecutive years on Forbes magazine’s esteemed list of “Best Franchises to Buy” – placing No. 6 in 2016. This is in addition to the accolades already awarded in 2017, which include Retro Fitness earning the 34th spot on Franchise Times magazine’s “Fast & Serious” list of the smartest growing brands that have the staying power to succeed, as well as No. 119 in Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Franchise 500” ranking of the top franchises in the nation.
Casaburi added, “Our gyms attract inexperienced and seasoned exercisers of all ages because we combine affordable membership options with a first-class gym experience. We incorporate state of the art equipment associated with big-box clubs and the high-end amenities and training associated with boutique concepts. The unification of these services ultimately make our model very attractive to today’s investors.”
Retro Fitness has been gaining popularity amongst a diverse group of franchise prospects and has an eclectic franchise system that includes former company executives, police officers, military veterans, stockbrokers, contractors, professional athletes, multi-brand franchisees, doctors and a pop star. The franchise flourishes on this diversity and seeks franchisees who are going to help build and support the Retro Fitness brand for decades.
“I think the success our clubs have shown over the years is what attracted our diverse franchise system,” said Casaburi. “We have franchisees from all walks of life. Some are friends or family members of franchisees who watched the success first-hand. Others are sophisticated investors simply looking for a viable business investment. We disclose revenue numbers in our FDD, so they recognize that outside of unit growth, our gyms perform exceptionally well from a financial perspective.”
The top 10 percent of the company’s franchise units are outperforming the national industry average with $2,175,471 average gross sales per unit, $851,008 average EBITDA, 6,000-plus average membership base and $149.50 average revenue per square foot.**
** The top 10 percent of Retro Fitness clubs average, gross sales, average EBITDA and average revenue per square foot numbers as published in Item 19 of the Retro Fitness 2016 Franchise Disclosure Document. Read Item 19 in its entirety for important defined terms, assumptions and qualifiers relating to these figures.
Founded in 2004 by entrepreneur Eric Casaburi, Retro Fitness has evolved from a regional Northeast gym concept into a national fitness system with more than 155 gyms open in 16 states. Under Casaburi’s leadership, Retro Fitness is expanding its footprint with more than 100 gyms in its development pipeline and plans to have 250 gyms open in the next two years in new, major markets, such as Florida, Illinois, California, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Each Retro Fitness location is equipped with a full-service fitness center, including 60-100 pieces of equipment supplied by leading manufacturers. The burgeoning franchise has placed in the top 300 of Entrepreneur’s magazine’s prestigious Franchise 500 list for six consecutive years. For more information, please visit www.retrofitness.com, and to learn more about franchise opportunities visit www.retrofranchising.com.
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SOURCE Retro Fitness