More than 1/3 of the domestic Curves fitness club franchises have closed in the past 3 years.
In 2009 alone, more than 1000 Curves franchise owners lost their dream businesses… along with their savings, retirement accounts and, in some cases, their homes.
But there’s no cause for alarm, according to Curves International President Mike Raymond.
According to Raymond’s comments in the Wall Street Journal, what may be the largest mass-closing in franchising history is all part of Curves International’s master strategic plan:
Franchisees and industry experts point to a failure to keep up with changing trends—including more flexible hours for busy working women—cheaper competition and the tough economy as major reasons for Curves’ decline.
The company disagrees with its critics, contending that much of the club closings were intended as part of a plan to “prune the system,” according to Curves President Mike Raymond. Some owners had bought into Curves for the wrong reasons, he says, “they were motivated primarily as investors rather than owners.”
No Cause for Concern. Corporate Profits are Up!
Sure, thousands of club owners may be devastated and their club members forsaken, but there is a silver lining: Curves International actually increased earnings as a percentage of sales, with 2009 earnings of $16.4 million on revenue of $84.1 million.
So the story has a happy ending after all… unless, of course, you are one of the prunees.
Unless, of course, you are one of the thousands of franchise owners who actually believed Curves International when they said that, as one of their franchisees, you’d be going into business for yourself but not by yourself.
To be fair, if Curves International had stated that their franchise would give owners the opportunity to be, say, superfluous twigs to be eventually pruned from their corporate money tree, Curves never would have become the fastest growing franchise in history…
Now would they?
CURVES FRANCHISE OWNERS:
Share your feelings, opinions and experiences with founder Gary Heavin, President Mike Raymond and the board of Curves International, below.
Contact us at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com
CURVES: 1000 Franchise Clubs Failed Last Year (More on the WSJ article)
Robert Lay’s Story (Featuring 850+ Curves franchisee comments)
Curves Posts on UnhappyFranchisee.Com (Directory of posts & discussions about Curves)
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