CURVES FOR WOMEN: Nearly Half The Palm Beach Clubs Have Closed

curvesign201fb First the bad news:  the Palm Beach Post reports that the number of Curves for Women fitness club locations in Palm Beach County has shrunk from 27 to 15 in the past 18 months, a failure rate of 44%.

The worse news:  More more closings expected.

Why are Curves franchises closing in record numbers?  That depends on who you ask.

Curves International, Inc. Denies That Franchisees are Struggling

According to the Palm Beach Post article, Becky Frusher, spokeswoman Curves International, Inc., “dismisses suggestions that franchisees are struggling.”

“I’m sure the current economic conditions aren’t helping, but one of the great things about a Curves is that it was designed as a low-cost franchise and can be run lean and mean,” she says.

Palm Beach Curves franchisees claim:  It’s the Economy, Stupid!

The Curves franchisees quoted in the article blame the economy for the closings:

Curves franchisee Leslie Winer blames the economy. She and her husband recently closed one of three Curves they own, although they still operate gyms in Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens.

“Although it shouldn’t, your health and well-being becomes discretionary spending when the economy slows down,” Winer says.

Cindy Moore agrees. She recently moved her 1,500-square-foot location in North Palm Beach to cheaper space. “The economy is causing people to clip their gym memberships,” Moore says.

Furthermore, the franchisees say their high-tech Curves Smart equipment keeps them ahead of the competition.

Observers Blame Over-Expansion, Copycats & Competition

The Curves for Women 30 minute workout chain went through an expansion frenzy in 2005 and 2006. Since that time, Curves owners in Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Jupiter and Palm Springs have closed their doors. The most recent casualty:  45th St. location in West Palm Beach which closed Oct. 29.

Cliff Fostoff of Transworld Business Brokers in Boynton Beach blames Curves’ aggressive expansion and the competition that followed from knockoff concepts.

“They opened a lot of locations not far from each other,” Fostoff says. “And there has been a lot of competition. It’s just vanilla box with a few machines, so it’s a very easy model to copy.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK?  IS IT THE ECONOMY, OVER-EXPANSION OR THE CONCEPT CAUSING CURVES WOES?  OR IS CURVE INTERNATIONAL CORRECT IN SAYING THAT EVERYTHING’S FINE?

Related stories:

CURVES FOR WOMEN: Paradise Lost as Hawaiian Curves Franchise Closes

CURVES FOR WOMEN: Business Broker Slams Curves Franchise and Franchisor

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19 thoughts on “CURVES FOR WOMEN: Nearly Half The Palm Beach Clubs Have Closed

  • November 16, 2008 at 7:05 pm
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    This is definitely a FAD. For the two and half years I have owned a Curves I have never made any money. I have a loss of over $60,000.00 I also had to take out a full business loan. The bank wont refinance or accept a short sale. If we have a sale we will have to move all our debt to credit acrds or they are going to seize the property from the new owner.

    If you try to shut it down, the corporation charges you a closing fee in the ball park of $10,000.00 In addition, after you pay those fees, they charge all your back royalties and ad fees for the remainder you had left on your franchise agreement. Mister Heavin calls himself a Christiamn and says he is doing this for God. Since when did the Lord rob from the poor to relish in riches? I dont know how this man is not in jail AGAIN. After all, he is an ex con.

  • November 17, 2008 at 7:59 pm
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    After losing roughly $175,000 to $250,000,; my wife and I decided we had thrown too much good money after bad. We never earned a penny in the 4 years we operated without any support from coporate other than the regional managers (The Gore’s) who advised us early on to PRAY!
    Now with that insightful business sense we joined the lawsuit initiated by Robert Zarco; I was forced to attend mediation where they offered to send me a line of buyers for my club-they lied! The lawsuit is moving forward slowly as several hundred owners have since joined in the fight and we continue to make headway for an eventual day in court!. Get out NOW; most qwners I knew could not even give their club away for FREE much less selling it to another unsuspecting fool like myself.; a very expensive lesson. I believe there are some underlying “born again” principles at play here as they have taken the money and run-attempting to hide at this point. Zarco is the best franchisor attorney in the USA-it should be interesting moving forward!!

  • November 18, 2008 at 10:18 pm
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    after 4 years, CurveSmart, etc. -I’m pulling the plug and closing within the month. One profitable year,one breakeven,and two years of losses. would not sell to anyone,as I have a conscience. regret not exploring the member retention/attrition needs closely enough before buying. we set up in too small of community, with four others too close. also feel the Curves business has run it’s course in it’s 10 years of making Heavin a zillionaire, on the backs of fools like me. most owners can make more cash income from a part-time job.

  • November 21, 2008 at 5:54 pm
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    Dear Central NJ and KC,

    Don’t feel bad as hundreds of owners have joined the lawsuit going after Heavin and Curves for the gross misrepresentation and overselling of the units to make it impossible for any owner to turn a profit. There were 2 within 5 miles when I bought and ended up with 6 within 5 miles when I closed. Exactly WHAT kind of feasibility studies were done to support those numbers are a true question that needs to be answered?
    If you do close, please seek legal counsel and refuse to sign for any certified mail sent from Curves out of WACKO, TX! The $10,000.00 fee for closing is NOT in my operating agreement as they changed terms after clubs starting closing in droves!
    As far as the royalties, I look forward to our day in court where they can present their losses against MY LOSSES-here I win hands down. Just so you know, they are avoiding peeking there heads out of Texas so the chances of them pursuing any legal action in your state is minimal-they have successfully argued this position in court! Feel free to call Robert Zarco of Miami, FL for legal advice if needed-I wish all former and current Curves owners the best as it will be needed in the upcoming commercial property meltdown-it will make the housing meltdown look like a field day! Hang on tight, this will be a very rough ride thanks to Cheney, Bush and company. These religious people really crack me up!

  • December 6, 2008 at 12:59 am
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    Wow!! I was in the process of doing research for curves. I was possibly interested in owning one.. I want to go into business for myself and thought the curves franchise would be a good investment..

  • December 17, 2008 at 1:20 pm
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    I am in florida also and am considering closing in the near future. I am about 120 membes from just breaking even. I can not put anymore of my own money into it as there is no place else to take it from. I am concerned with the process and what happens with CI? Can anyone who has closed the doors give me some direction? Is the best way to just close them???? Each month we get further and further behind and lose way more than we get in. I JUST WANT OUT!

  • December 23, 2008 at 11:03 am
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    DiJonee,
    It’s a blessing that you found this site as if you had bought a franchise it could have turned out to be the worst mistake of your life. It is such a shame that curves international has done this to so many owners. I can’t believe that they still continue to say they are a born again christians. Howie will go down in history as the one of the biggest con men of all time. Take care and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

  • January 25, 2009 at 10:58 pm
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    Important message to all Curves owners.
    There is another site that all current owners of a curves franchise needs to be aware of. The site was set up by Curves using our advertising dollars so we all need to use it. It’s intent is to allow owners to converse with other owners and to share ideas. It is a good site if you are looking for ideas on how to save your club or just have questions for other owners. Here is the link http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/curvesowners/?v=1&t=search&ch=web&pub=groups&sec=group&slk=1

    Please go there to check it out and voice your opinion on the current posts and voice your concerns. This site is strictly for owners.

  • January 27, 2009 at 5:47 am
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    Close now! Do not respond to any certified mail from Wacko-in other words-refuse to sign for it. Curves will not pursue legal action outside of Texas thusly upsetting the position they have fought so hard for in our lawsuit. We have earned major victories as we are moving closer to our cases being heard-this will not be good for CI. THEY WILL PAY-one way or the other! This fad business is just another fraud perpetrated by born again Heavin with multiple family members (vendors) participating in insuring a stream of income when the owners have none-zero-zilch.
    Stay away, get out now, CLOSE!

  • June 25, 2009 at 6:21 pm
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    I am the owner of the first Curves franchise in California. At one time, I had 720 members. That was until Curves allowed another owner to open another Curves franchise under two miles away, on the same street, from my club. I lost about one-third of my members to that club. I believe that that Curves owner was tight with the management of Curves, Int;l. That club was listed on the Curves website as being 4.0 miles from my club (hardly). Also, on several occasions, advertising material from that club has spilled over and once was deliberately placed in my territory. Four years ago, Curves International illegally raised my franchise fee/ad fees. Where is my incentive to get new members if my fees are based on membership numbers?
    after a 7-year roller coaster ride, I am broke and the first club in CA is suffering. Can’t afford to be competitive anymore and a new woman’s club is opening two blocks away. I was able, in the past , to knock out the competition, but I don’t think I can knock down this new Goliath in woman’s gyms. It’s all about money and greed now with Curves. Unfortunately some once-honest Christians will sell their souls for success and money.

  • June 26, 2009 at 2:03 pm
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    Michele sad story that is so real to hundreds of owners like myself…exactly the same story…club is doing great then CI allowing another Club that will certainly start their clubsd on your hard work…meaning a % of your members. Good Luck too you and yours and sadly like many of us, the only way to get the Monkey off your back is to either join the Law Suit whicjh I’m being told is closed at this point until another class action is filed (I guess when this 1st law suit is done, unhappy can probably comment on that) or file Bankruptcy and CI can not come after you. Again good luck.

  • July 4, 2009 at 8:25 pm
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    If you are an owner of a curves franchise and are upset at the underhanded, unethical, immoral, and shoddy business practices of Curves International you need to go to this site http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/280/RipOff0280916.htm
    and file a complaint. It may help someone else from making the biggest mistake of there life.

  • August 3, 2009 at 8:00 pm
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    what happens if you close and walk away without going through their procedures? Do they come after you? What can I expect?

  • November 22, 2009 at 9:39 pm
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    we closed September 10th and now they are asking for 57,000.00. Now what

  • November 22, 2009 at 10:13 pm
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    Send an email to Sean at this site and he will forward it to me and I will be able to give you your options,. Don’t sign anything that Curves sends you until you talk to me.

  • November 23, 2009 at 10:52 am
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    sean can you forward this to Mr Lay? We closed 9/11/09. They want 57K. Any advise

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  • April 1, 2013 at 5:52 pm
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    I hate that curves closed, I enjoyed the workout, and I have not been able to find success in another program, weight and inches.

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