Planet Fitness CEO says Gen Z is signing up for gym memberships at higher rates than pre-Covid

A user on a treadmill at a Planet Fitness gym.

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fitness planet is seeing more tweens and teens signing up for their first gym memberships during the coronavirus pandemic, helping fuel the company’s overall growth.

When the gym operator reported fourth-quarter results Thursday, it said Generation Z, which represents people born between 1997 and 2012, represented the fastest-growing demographic for Planet Fitness memberships in 2021.

Chief Executive Chris Rondeau said in an interview that many younger users flocked to his gyms last year as school activities and sports leagues temporarily halted. In some cities, shopping malls and movie theaters were still closed. The trend has continued into 2022, he said, even though many group activities have resumed and children have returned to school.

“Last September, when school sports were on and rec centers were open again, that didn’t slow down,” he said, adding that Gen Z places extra emphasis on staying active and maintaining their mental health. “They continue to coalesce, well above pre-Covid levels.”

Planet Fitness memberships start at a monthly fee of $10, making it a much more affordable option for consumers compared to high-end chains like fitness for life and Equinox.

According to Rondeau, about 62.5% of members have upgraded to Black Card, a membership option priced at $22.99 per month that gives customers access to any of their 2,000+ US gyms. ., along with other perks like tanning beds and guest passes. He said the penetration of Black Card members is growing as the company opens more locations.

At the end of January, Planet Fitness had 15.6 million members, which it said is higher than its pre-pandemic peak.

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Net income attributable to Planet Fitness shareholders for the three-month period ended December 31 fell to $5.7 million, or 7 cents per share, from $8.7 million, or 11 cents per share, in the year. previous. Excluding one-off items, it earned 26 cents a share, in line with analyst estimates of 26 cents, according to Refinitiv data.

Total sales grew 37.3% to $183.6 million from $133.8 million a year earlier. That beat estimates of $178.8 million.

Shares of Planet Fitness were down about 6% in premarket trading on Thursday. amid a market sell-off. At the close of trading on Wednesday, shares are down 1% year-to-date.

Find the full financial press release from Planet Fitness here.

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