A Case Study on Planet Fitness, LA Fitness, and CrunchAll retailers know how vital it is to understand their customers. Businesses can rise and fall based on this level of understanding. There simply isn’t room for a retailer to generalize or make assumptions about its customers, as shoppers at even the closest brand competitors can differ dramatically. Recently, we put this premise to the test. Using mobile GPS data, we gathered insights into consumer behavior at three of the biggest retail fitness brands: Planet Fitness, Crunch, and LA Fitness. Our analysis zeroed in on consumer patterns since the retailers reopened their doors at the end of 2020 or beginning of 2021, when COVID-19 pandemic restrictions began to ease. From the GPS data, we determined:
- The average trade area across hundreds of locations for each fitness retailer
- Where the consumers live and work
- Insights into what they’re like and what’s important them (based on top psychographic segments and Esri LifeMode and Urbanization clusters)
Planet Fitness CustomersWe looked at GPS data points from the paths of 109,302 Planet Fitness customers at 200 sites who visited between March 1, 2021 and June 1, 2021. The average trade area across these locations was 11.3 minute drive time. Of the top four psychographic segments, Middleburg comprised the most Planet Fitness customers, with 2.7% of the trade area population and 5.1% of customers overall. Middleburg consumers are conservative, family-oriented, and live in semi rural subdivisions. They’re careful spenders and invest in the future. They rely on their mobile devices, prefer to buy American-made goods, and travel in the U.S. Our GPS data also tells us that Middleburg is an over-indexed segment for Planet Fitness. Customers in this segment are willing to travel a reasonably far distance to visit Planet Fitness, i.e., they’re not visiting the site solely for convenience because they live nearby. This finding strongly suggests that a Planet Fitness site would do well located squarely in an area with dense pockets of Middleburg consumers.
Crunch CustomersWe looked at GPS data points from the paths of 158,825 Crunch customers at 201 sites who visited between December 1, 2020 and June 1, 2021. The average trade area across these locations was 10.8 minutes. The psychographic segment Up and Coming Families comprised the most Crunch customers, with 3.3% of the trade area population and 5.7% of customers overall. Up and Coming Families are young, diverse, and mobile. They’re willing to trade a longer commute time for an affordable house in a new suburban development. They like to shop for deals, and spend their free time watching movies at home, taking trips to theme parks and the zoo, and working out.
LA Fitness CustomersWe looked at GPS data points from the paths of 89,602 LA Fitness customers at 200 sites who visited between March 1, 2021 and June 1, 2021. The average trade area across these locations was 11.6 minutes. Of the top four psychographic segments, Pleasantville comprised the most LA Fitness customers, with 4.9% of the trade area population and 5.2% of customers overall. Pleasantville consumers historically live in older housing in the Northeast but are increasingly settling West. These families are older, with adult children that may still live at home. They maintain dual-income households with higher net worths.
Do You Really Know Who Your Customers Are?As our analysis bears out, retailers with similar brands like Planet Fitness, Crunch, and LA Fitness can serve vastly different customers. It’s this type of data-driven insight that can enable you to:
- Increase your ROI on marketing spend
- Predict revenue of potential sites with higher accuracy
- Open locations directly in the path of your target customers