Planet Provider?


The other night I was on my way to the gym and I was listening to NPR (the poor man’s XM satellite radio). The podcast was about how low-cost gyms rake in members without going out of business. The gym I was driving to? Planet Fitness. The example NPR used? Planet Fitness. I felt like I was about to read my horoscope or have my fortune read. Suffice it to say, my interest was piqued.

Basically, gyms that charge $10 a month lure fitness-wannabes like me through its doors with massage chairs, pop music and a friendly, neighborhood bar design (smoothies in the front; free weights in the back). My gym actually serves pizza on Mondays. Pizza.

In a nutshell, gyms like Planet Fitness are able to survive because they target the people who are least likely to work out regularly and are the most likely to keep their membership. I can only speak for myself, but I’ve spent $10 on much worse things. Which is exactly why I’m their ideal customer.

For years I’ve known that supermarkets used similar tricks to get customers to stay longer and spend more money, but gyms too? This must exist in other markets—other industries.

Never one to let a story opportunity slip by, I immediately started wondering if this was applicable to the HME sector. A provider I am not, but if you are and you employ a particular strategy or store design—or even if you just have some ideas—you know where to reach me.