Orangetheory Continues to Accelerate Growth in Q1
When I sat down with Dave Long last fall, the CEO of Orangetheory Fitness told me the franchise was opening six locations a week. It’s a pace the brand is working hard to keep, and its first quarter numbers reveal a continuation of that effort as Orangetheory opened 61 new studios throughout the world.
Those new openings included nine studios in California and five in Texas, key target markets for a brand ranked No. 1 on Franchise Times’ 2018 Fast & Serious list naming the smartest-growing franchises. Long, who was a VP at Massage Envy while the concept rocketed from 20 stores to 800, told me at that company there was a “relentlessness around the franchise development process” that he’s carried with him to Orangetheory, along with full confidence in the model he saw in action at Massage Envy with real results.
“We are big believers in the area representative model,” said Long. “With that model, it supports us not just for rapid growth, but making it sustainable. There’s a bigger commitment level with the area representatives.”
In announcing its first quarter growth numbers today, Orangetheory also noted the signing of 54 lease agreements and 34 franchise agreements to keep the expansion pipeline full.
“Orangetheory Fitness has experienced incredible and unparalleled growth in less than a decade, and the compounding success we’ve already achieved this year is indicative that the brand’s global domination is just beginning,” said Mike Mettler, senior vice president of franchise development, in a release. “This relentless momentum has allowed us to accelerate our franchise development efforts in several prime expansion markets like California and Texas, and we’re thrilled to continue tapping into the wealth of potential in these regions.”
The brand reports it has more than 400 studios in the pipeline domestically and considers itself an “exceptionally attractive tenant” as it seeks real estate.
“There are a number of factors that make Orangetheory an exceptionally attractive tenant, including consumer demand for experiences, our small footprint that allows us to be in more places, and the distinct achievement of never having closed a studio,” said Mettler.
The Boca Raton, Florida-based company has its eye on international growth as well, opening nine new studios in Canada, two in Australia and one in Guatemala in Q1. The company also signed five new international franchise agreements and 11 new studio leases.
Orangetheory, which has 935 units in 49 states and 17 countries, isn’t alone in the specialized fitness studio segment and faces competition from the likes of fellow Fast & Serious brand 9Round, along with growing concepts including Title Boxing, Camp Transformation Center, Hotworx and TruFusion. Big-box gyms are still expanding, too, with Planet Fitness and Anytime Fitness both poised for more growth.