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Passion, unit economics attract AKT ‘zee, plus more multi-unit news


AKT, a dance-based cardio concept, is now under the Xponential Fitness umbrella.

With an economics degree from Harvard and a career path that’s included founding a software company, leading global business development at American Express and serving as a managing director in digital finance at Goldman Sachs, Colin Kennedy knows how to dig into the numbers. And that’s exactly what he did when he began researching franchises, a process that led him to Xponential Fitness and AKT, one of the rapidly expanding franchisor’s eight concepts. After exploring Xponential’s portfolio, AKT stood out, Kennedy said, “due to the uniqueness of the concept itself and—as an investor—the sound unit economics and business model that it was built upon.

“AKT taps into a completely unmet consumer demand in the fitness space: it’s the only cardio-based fitness concept rooted in dance technique, circuit, interval and functional training,” he continued, noting fitness is a passion of his. “I knew that this emerging market in fitness was one that many would capitalize on.”

Kennedy signed on for four AKT studios, targeting West Los Angeles, Lower Manhattan and Westchester. In its 2018 FDD the brand reported average gross revenue of $1,345,070 for two founder-owned locations (four units are now open) and Kennedy believes the model is “poised to thrive” in his target areas. “AKT’s sound business model and world-class fitness experience make it perfect for demanding consumers,” he said.

Kennedy noted he was also impressed with Xponential’s franchise support and was drawn to the group after seeing what CEO Anthony Geisler and his team were doing to “dominate and reinvigorate the space.” Xponential is also behind brands such as Club Pilates and Pure Barre, and acquired AKT in 2018 from founder Anna Kaiser, who is still involved. That active founder involvement stood out to Kennedy, and Kaiser’s “passion, drive for innovation and constant support, paired with Xponential Fitness’ experience in fitness franchising, made for a perfect franchise opportunity for me.”

Colin Kennedy

Colin Kennedy

“The more I researched, the more I recognized how much the brand’s goals aligned with my own, something I’ve found to be paramount in ensuring that an opportunity is a perfect fit,” said Kennedy.

Quick Hits

Massage Envy inked a multi-unit deal for 70 additional franchised locations throughout the Rocky Mountain and Great Plain regions with Colorado-based venture capital firm Novarus Wellness Concepts. Novarus, owned by longtime Massage Envy franchisee Eric Kenealy, will also purchase existing franchise locations.

I Heart Mac & Cheese signed a 23-store agreement with franchise group Manor 3 for locations in Long Island, New York, with three slated to open in 2019. Longtime franchise restaurant operator Vinny Greco and his partner, Dan Dollard, lead Manor 3.

Zips Dry Cleaners signed a development deal with existing franchisees Allan Boomer and Tiffany Hawkins for 20 locations set to open throughout Atlanta, Georgia, over the next five years.

PizzaRev awarded new territories to existing Southern California franchisee Ajay Maini, who plans to open additional units in Kern and Orange Counties. Maini owns two PizzaRevs and multiple units of a sandwich franchise.

RockBox Fitness signed a development deal with members-turned-franchisees Elia and Katie Georgiades to open four studios in South Carolina.

Expedia CruiseShipCenters signed its first multi-unit franchise agreement, which will bring three locations of the cruise travel agency to Georgia. Franchisees are Wil and Ayten Mauk, also franchisees of My Salon Suite in the Atlanta area.

Ben’s Soft Pretzels will open two new locations inside the Indianapolis International Airport through a franchise agreement with global restaurateur HMSHost.

Choice Hotels International inked agreements with Koucar Management to develop new Cambria hotels in Detroit, Michigan, and Portland, Maine.

Deal Tracker is the place to find news of multi-unit development agreements, brought to you by Editor Laura Michaels. Want more? Sign up for the semi-monthly e-newsletter at franchisetimes.com/e-newsletter. To share your brand’s multi-unit deals, email details to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com

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