3 Companies Franchisees Should Be Cautious Of
The idea behind the company, a female-centric fitness club that also offers diet and nutrition programs was a fine one, but some franchisees say the company was more concerned about its growth plans than doing due diligence on potential franchisees and properly training existing ones.
Curves has roughly 4,000 locations - a number cut in half from its peak in 2005, according to the The Wall Street Journal .
The company was also resistant to changing the business model as market demographics changed. Between the oversaturation of locations and the economy putting a crimp on consumers' wallets, membership was falling.
Curves didn't embrace the round-the-clock access for members without supervision that many other fitness chains implemented. Founder Gary Heavin argued that having locations open 24/7 didn't fit with the company's strategy. "Curves is about providing a supportive environment for women, and an empty room filled with machines in the night is not my idea of a supportive environment," he told the WSJ in the August article.
But the company is reinventing itself with "a new weight-loss program, improved training for franchisees and their staffs, and an online 'university' to teach nutrition and more," the article said.
In December, the company launched Curves Complete, a weight-loss program that combines "diet, exercise and motivation," according to the press release.
Curves' troubling unit economics is what concerns Segreto. "They oversaturated the market. There
Curves representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
3. Cold Stone Creamery
According to the Cold Stone Creamery website, the company has 1,500 franchises in 20 countries.
Doing a simple Google search on "Cold Stone Creamery" and "franchisees" pulled up the website, Unhappy Franchisee , which doesn't exactly paint Cold Stone or Kahala in a positive light.