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Anytime Fitness climbs top 200, up 52 percent


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In case it’s not obvious as you peruse the column of companies to the right, personal services is a diverse and eclectic category. Not to be confused with business services, personal services are franchised services that individuals use for their, well, their personal needs, like tax preparation, exercise, haircuts and education.

H&R Block, while inarguably the largest franchised tax preparer, increased revenue from 2013 to 2014 by 2.3 percent, while shedding 301 units, according to our estimations. Its closest competitor, Jackson Hewitt Tax Services, which is new to this year’s Top 200 list, reported sales of $501 million for 6,341 tax offices.

Liberty Tax Service—started by John Hewitt to compete with the second largest tax franchise that also bears his name—had sales of $435 million for 4,328 units (2,013 fewer units than Jackson Hewitt).

The problem for tax-preparing franchises is they rely on filers with simple returns, a group that is getting more and more options to file online, according to an article on investorpedia.com. Many states are offering free web-based filing programs, as well.

Massage Envy, which continues to lead the subscription-based massage franchises, reported a 10.9 percent increase in revenue for this tracking period. While there’s some worthy competition out there, Massage Envy was the only massage franchise to make the Top 200.

The 24/7 gym business continues to dominate, with Anytime Fitness growing sales 52 percent and units by 15 percent. The Minnesota-based company has doubled revenue in a two-to-three year span, according to our research. Snap Fitness, also based in the Twin Cities area, grew substantially as well: 25.4 percent for sales of $514 million for 1,439 units. Snap Fitness also has specialty fitness concepts it’s growing, including 9Round and YogaFit.

Early childhood education has fared well, with the one exception being the leader in sales, Eye Level Learning Centers, which decreased by 140 centers last year. The Goddard Schools added 46 schools, while Primrose Schools is up 19 units. This was the first time for Berlitz, a language and culture training franchise, to be on the list. It reported sales of $498 million.

Two Men and a Truck, which debuted in the Top 200 last year, increased sales 13.9 percent to $369 million.

Budget haircut franchises, Great Clips and Supercuts, both increased sales at a rapid clip, but Sport Clips, a mancentric grooming franchise, showed the biggest gains, 22 percent to systemwide sales of $427 million.

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