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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K

(Mark One)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM                      TO                     
Commission File Number 001-37534
PLANET FITNESS, INC.
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its Charter)
Delaware38-3942097
(State or Other Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
4 Liberty Lane West, Hampton, NH 03842
(Address of Principal Executive Offices and Zip Code)
(603) 750-0001
(Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading Symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered
Class A common stock, $0.0001 Par ValuePLNTNew York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes  No 
Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act. Yes  No 
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes  No 
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to submit such files). Yes  NO 
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of the “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “non-accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act:
Large accelerated filer   Accelerated filer 
Non-accelerated filer   Small reporting company 
     Emerging Growth Company 
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the Registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. Yes No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes  No 
The aggregate market value of the Registrant’s Class A common stock held by non-affiliates, computed by reference to the last reported sale price of the Class A common stock as reported on the New York Stock Exchange on June 30, 2020 was approximately $4.8 billion.
The number of outstanding shares of the registrant’s Class A common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, and Class B common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, as of February 22, 2021 was 83,079,078 shares and 3,473,075 shares, respectively.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the Definitive Proxy Statement for the registrant’s 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held May 3, 2021, are incorporated by reference into Part III, Items 10-14 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.


Table of Contents
 
  Page
PART I  
Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
   
PART II  
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
   
PART III  
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
   
PART IV  
Item 15.
Item 16.
2

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). Such forward-looking statements reflect, among other things, our current expectations and anticipated results of operations, all of which are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements, market trends, or industry results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Therefore, any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical fact may be forward-looking statements and should be evaluated as such. Without limiting the foregoing, the words “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “plans,” “projects,” “should,” “targets,” “will” and the negative thereof and similar words and expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those described in “Item 1A. – Risk Factors,” of this report. Unless legally required, we assume no obligation to update any such forward-looking information to reflect actual results or changes in the factors affecting such forward-looking information.
3

PART I
Item 1. Business.
Planet Fitness, Inc. is a Delaware corporation formed on March 16, 2015. Planet Fitness, Inc. Class A common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PLNT.”
Our Company
Fitness for everyone
We are one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the United States by number of members and locations, with a highly recognized national brand. Our mission is to enhance people’s lives by providing a high-quality fitness experience in a welcoming, non-intimidating environment, which we call the Judgement Free Zone. Our bright, clean stores are typically 20,000 square feet, with a large selection of high-quality, purple and yellow Planet Fitness-branded cardio, circuit- and weight-training equipment and friendly staff trainers who offer unlimited free fitness instruction to all our members in small groups through our PE@PF program. We offer this differentiated fitness experience at only $10 per month for our standard membership. This attractive value proposition is designed to appeal to a broad population, including occasional gym users and the approximately 80% of the U.S. and Canadian populations over age 14 who do not belong to a gym, particularly those who find the traditional fitness club setting intimidating and expensive. We and our franchisees fiercely protect Planet Fitness’s community atmosphere—a place where you do not need to be fit before joining and where progress toward achieving your fitness goals (big or small) is supported and applauded by our staff and fellow members.
In 2020, we recorded revenues of $406.6 million and system-wide sales of $2.4 billion (which we define as monthly dues and annual fees billed by us and our franchisees). We ended the year with approximately 13.5 million members and 2,124 stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, Panama, Mexico and Australia. System-wide sales for 2020 include $2.3 billion attributable to franchisee-owned stores, from which we generate royalty revenue, and $116.5 million attributable to our corporate-owned stores. Of our 2,124 stores, 2,021 are franchised and 103 are corporate-owned. Under signed area development agreements (“ADAs”) as of December 31, 2020, our franchisees have committed to open more than 1,000 additional stores.
As a result of COVID-19, our store level operations were impacted in 2020, and our corporate-owned stores had a segment EBITDA margin of 20.2%. In 2019 (before the impact of COVID-19), our corporate-owned stores had a segment EBITDA margin of 41.1% and had average unit volumes (“AUVs”) of approximately $2.0 million with four-wall EBITDA margins (an assessment of store-level profitability which includes local and national advertising expense) of approximately 47%, or approximately 40% after applying the current 7% royalty rate. Based on a historical survey of franchisees and management estimates, we believe that, on average, our franchise stores achieve four-wall EBITDA margins in line with these corporate-owned store four-wall EBITDA margins. For a reconciliation of segment EBITDA margin to four-wall EBITDA margin for corporate-owned stores, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition.”
Our growth is reflected in:
 
2,124 stores as of December 31, 2020, compared to 1,313 as of December 31, 2016, reflecting a compound annual growth rate (“CAGR”) of 12.8%;
13.5 million members as of December 31, 2020, compared to 8.9 million as of December 31, 2016, reflecting a CAGR of 10.9%;
53 consecutive quarters of system-wide same store sales growth through the first quarter of 2020 (which we define as year-over-year growth solely of monthly dues from stores that have been open and for which membership dues have been billed for longer than 12 months);


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Planet Fitness – Home of the Judgement Free Zone
We bring fitness to a large, previously underserved segment of the population. Our differentiated member experience is driven by three key elements:
Welcoming, non-intimidating environment: We believe fitness is essential to both physical and mental health, and every member should feel accepted and respected when they walk into a Planet Fitness regardless of their fitness level. Our stores provide a Judgement Free Zone where members can experience a non-intimidating and supportive environment. Our “come as you are” approach has fostered a strong sense of community among our members, allowing them not only to feel comfortable as they work toward their fitness goals but also to encourage others to do the same. By outfitting our stores with more cardiovascular and light strength equipment, and a limited offering of heavy free weights, we seek to reinforce our Judgement Free Zone philosophy by discouraging what we call “Lunk” behavior, such as dropping weights and grunting, that can be intimidating to new and occasional gym users.
Distinct store experience: Because our stores are typically 20,000 square feet and we do not offer non-essential amenities such as group exercise classes, pools, day care centers and juice bars, we have more space for the equipment our members do use. We believe our tailored use of space is, at least in part, why we have not needed to impose time limits on our cardio machines. Part of our unique store experience is the diligence our members and employees have to maintain a clean and sanitized environment. Members’ etiquette typically includes wiping down the equipment before and after use with our sanitization spray, which is FDA-approved to kill the COVID-19 virus on surfaces.
Exceptional value for members: In the U.S., for only $10 per month, our standard membership includes unlimited access to one Planet Fitness location and unlimited free fitness instruction to all members in small groups through our PE@PF program. And, for approximately $22.99 per month, our PF Black Card members have access to all of our stores system-wide and can bring a guest on each visit, which provides an additional opportunity to attract new members. Our PF Black Card members also have access to exclusive areas in our stores that provide amenities such as water massage beds, massage chairs, tanning equipment and more.
Our competitive strengths
We attribute our success to the following strengths:
Market leader with differentiated member experience, nationally recognized brand and scale advantage. We believe we are one of the largest operators of fitness centers in the U.S. by number of members.
Differentiated member experience. Planet Fitness is the home of the Judgement Free Zone, a place where people of all fitness levels can feel comfortable working out at their own pace, feel supported in their efforts and not feel intimidated by pushy salespeople or other members who may ruin their fitness experience. Our philosophy is simple: Planet Fitness is an environment where members can relax, go at their own pace and be themselves without ever having to worry about being judged. No matter what size the goal, we believe that all of these accomplishments deserve to be celebrated. Planet of Triumphs (www.PlanetofTriumphs.com) provides an online community platform for members to recognize their triumphs (big and small), share their stories and encourage others, while spotlighting our unique brand belief that everyone belongs.
Nationally recognized brand. We have developed a highly relatable and recognizable brand focused on providing our members with a judgement-free environment. We do so through fun and memorable marketing campaigns and in-store signage. As a result, we have among the highest aided and unaided brand awareness scores in the U.S. fitness industry, according to our Brand Health research, a third-party consumer study that we have updated bi-annually.
Scale advantage. Our scale provides several competitive advantages, including enhanced purchasing power and extended warranties with our fitness equipment and other suppliers and the ability to attract high-quality franchisee partners. In addition, we estimate that our large U.S. national advertising fund, funded by franchisees and us, together with our requirement that franchisees generally spend 7% of their monthly membership dues on local advertising, have enabled us and our franchisees to spend over $1 billion since 2011 on marketing to drive consumer brand awareness and preference.
Exceptional value proposition that appeals to a broad member demographic. Our low monthly membership dues combined with our non-intimidating and welcoming environment, enable us to attract a broad member demographic based on age, household income, gender and ethnicity. Our member base is over 50% female and our members come from both high- and low-income households. Approximately 25% of our stores are located in areas that the US government deems “low income,” providing an option to improve health and wellness in those underserved locales.
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Our broad appeal and ability to attract occasional and first-time gym users enable us to continue to target a large segment of the population in a variety of markets and geographies.
Highly attractive franchise system built for growth. Our easy-to-operate model, strong store-level economics and brand strength have enabled us to attract a team of professional, successful franchisees from a variety of industries. We believe that our strategy to be predominantly franchisee-owned enables us to scale more rapidly than a predominantly company-owned strategy. Our streamlined model features relatively fixed labor costs, minimal inventory, automatic billing and limited cash transactions. The attractiveness of our franchise model is further evidenced by the fact that our franchisees re-invest their capital into the brand, with over 90% of our new stores in 2020 opened by our existing franchisee base. We view our franchisees as strategic partners in expanding the Planet Fitness store base and brand.
Predictable and recurring revenue streams with high cash flow conversion. While 2020 brought an unprecedented disruption to the general economy, our industry and our business, when operating in a normal business environment, our model provides us with predictable and recurring revenue streams. In 2020, approximately 90% of both our corporate-owned store and franchise revenues consisted of recurring revenue streams, which include royalties, vendor commissions, monthly dues and annual fees. Notwithstanding the extensions provided during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our franchisees are obligated to purchase fitness equipment from us or our required vendor for their new stores and to replace this equipment every five to seven years. As a result, these “equip” and “re-equip” requirements create a predictable and growing revenue stream as our franchisees open new stores under their ADAs.
Our growth strategies
We believe there are significant opportunities to grow our brand awareness, increase our revenues and profitability and deliver shareholder value by executing on the following strategies:
 
Continue to grow our store base across a broad range of markets. We have grown our store count over the last five years, expanding from 1,313 stores as of December 31, 2016 to 2,124 stores as of December 31, 2020. As of December 31, 2020, our franchisees have signed ADAs to open more than 1,000 additional stores, including more than 500 over the next three years. Because our stores are successful across a wide range of geographies and demographics with varying population densities, we believe that our high level of brand awareness and low per capita penetration in certain markets create a significant opportunity to open new Planet Fitness stores. Based on our internal and third party analysis, we believe we have the potential to grow our store base to over 4,000 stores in the U.S. alone.
Drive revenue growth and system-wide same store sales. We have a significant history of positive system-wide same store sales growth, reaching 53 consecutive quarters through the first quarter of 2020, prior to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We expect to return to system-wide same store sales growth primarily by:
Attracting new members to existing Planet Fitness stores. As the population in the markets where we operate continue to focus on health and wellness, we believe we are well-positioned to capture a disproportionate share of these populations given our appeal to first-time and occasional gym users. We continue to evolve our offerings and enhance the PE@PF Program, our proprietary small group training program to appeal to our target member base. In addition to our in store experience, we also provide more than 500 workouts to both existing members and prospects via the free Planet Fitness mobile app, featuring differentiated content geared toward engaging with our community outside of our four walls and providing more ways to connect to our target audience – first time and casual gym users.
Increasing mix of PF Black Card memberships by enhancing value and member experience. We expect to drive sales by attracting new members to join as a PF Black Card member as well as continuing to convert our existing members’ standard memberships to our premium PF Black Card membership. We encourage this upgrade by continuing to enhance the value of our PF Black Card benefits through the ability to use any Planet Fitness location, free guest privileges and additional in-store amenities, such as tanning equipment, hydro-massage beds, and affinity partnerships for discounts and promotions. Our PF Black Card members as a percentage of total membership has increased from 58.9% as of December 31, 2016 to 60.5% as of December 31, 2020, and our average monthly dues per member have increased from $15.86 to $17.01 over the same period.
Increase brand investment to drive awareness and growth. We plan to continue to increase our strong brand awareness by leveraging significant marketing expenditures by our franchisees and us, which we believe will result in increased membership in new and existing stores and continue to attract high-quality franchisee partners. Under our current franchise agreement, franchisees are required to contribute 2% of their monthly membership dues annually to our National Advertising Fund (“NAF”) and Canadian advertising fund, from which we spent $61.3 million in 2020 to support our national marketing campaigns, our social media platforms and the development of local advertising materials, and $2.2 million additional funding from our corporate-owned stores and included in store-operations expense on our consolidated statements of operations. Additionally, we saw a lack of NAF funding from monthly membership dues in 2020 as a result
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of the extended temporary store closures due to COVID-19, so the Company decided to fund NAF by an incremental investment of approximately $18.0 million, which is included in the amount above. Under our current franchise agreement, franchisees are also generally required to spend 7% of their monthly membership dues on local advertising. We expect both our NAF and local advertising spending to grow as our membership grows.
Continue to expand royalties from increases in average royalty rate and new franchisees. While our current franchise agreement stipulates a monthly royalty rate of 7% of monthly dues and annual membership fees, as of December 31, 2020, only 37% of our stores are paying royalties at the current franchise agreement rate, primarily due to lower rates in historical agreements. As new franchisees enter our system and, generally, as current franchisees open new stores or renew their existing franchise agreements at the current royalty rate, our average system-wide royalty rate will increase. In 2020, our average royalty rate was 6.28% compared to 3.66% in 2016.
Grow sales from fitness equipment and related services. Our franchisees are contractually obligated to purchase fitness equipment from us, and in certain international markets, from our required vendors. Due to our scale and negotiating power, we believe we offer competitive pricing for high-quality, purple and yellow Planet Fitness-branded fitness equipment. Once the extensions granted to franchisees as a result of COVID-19 have passed, we expect our equipment sales to grow as our U.S. franchisees open new stores and replace used equipment as required every five to seven years. As the number of franchise stores continues to increase and existing franchise stores continue to mature, we anticipate incremental growth in revenue related to the sale of equipment to franchisees. In addition, we believe that regularly refreshing equipment helps our franchise stores maintain a consistent, high-quality fitness experience and is one of the contributing factors that drives new member growth. In certain international markets, we earn a commission on the sale of equipment by our required vendors to franchisee-owned stores.
Our industry
Due to our unique positioning to a broader demographic, we believe Planet Fitness has an addressable market that is significantly larger than the traditional health club industry. We view our addressable market as approximately 250 million people, representing the U.S. population over 14 years of age. We compete broadly for consumer discretionary spending related to leisure, sports, entertainment and other non-fitness activities in addition to the traditional health club market. Both our standard and PF Black Card memberships are priced significantly below the 2018 industry median of $71 per month, the latest available estimate from our industry’s trade association, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association’s (“IHRSA”).
According to IHRSA, the U.S. health club industry generated approximately $35.0 billion in revenue in 2019. The industry is highly fragmented, with 41,370 clubs across the U.S. serving approximately 64.2 million members, according to IHRSA. Based on IHRSA’s 2019 annual report issued in 2020, Planet Fitness’ net member growth in the U.S. in 2018 and 2019 was higher than the net member growth of the industry as a whole.
Membership
We make it simple for members to join, whether online, through our mobile application or in-store—no pushy sales tactics, no pressure and no complicated rate structures. Our members generally pay the following amounts (or an equivalent amount in the store’s local currency):
 
monthly membership dues of only $10 for our standard membership, or approximately $22.99 for PF Black Card members;
current standard annual fees of approximately $39; and
enrollment fees of approximately $0 to $59.
Belonging to a Planet Fitness store has perks whether members select the standard membership or the premium PF Black Card membership. Every member can take advantage of free pizza and bagels once a month (when stores are open and health regulations permit) and gets free, unlimited fitness instruction included in their monthly membership fee. Our PF Black Card members also have the right to reciprocal use of all Planet Fitness stores, can bring a friend with them each time they work out, and have access to massage beds and chairs and tanning, among other benefits. PF Black Card benefits extend beyond our store as well, with exclusive specials and discount offers from third-party retail partners. While some of our memberships require a cancellation fee, we offer, and require our franchisees to offer, a non-committal membership option.
As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately 13.5 million members. We utilize electronic funds transfer (“EFT”) as our primary method of collecting monthly dues and annual membership fees. Over 85% of membership fee payments to our corporate-owned and franchise stores are collected via Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) direct debit. We believe there are certain advantages to receiving a higher concentration of ACH payments, as compared to credit card payments, including less frequent expiration of billing information and reduced exposure to subjective chargeback or dispute claims and fees.
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Our stores
We had 2,124 stores system-wide as of December 31, 2020, of which 2,021 were franchised and 103 were corporate-owned, located in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, Panama, Mexico and Australia. The map below shows our franchisee-owned stores by location, and the accompanying table shows our corporate-owned stores by location.

Franchisee-owned store count by location 
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Store model
Our store model is designed to generate attractive four-wall EBITDA margins, strong free cash flow and high returns on invested capital for both our corporate-owned and franchisee-owned stores. Based on a historical survey of franchisees and management estimates, we believe that our franchise stores achieve store-level profitability in line with our corporate-owned store base. The stores included in this survey represent those stores that voluntarily disclosed such information in response to our request, and we believe this information reflects a representative sample of franchisees based on the franchisee groups and geographic areas represented by these stores.
Fitness equipment
We provide our members with high-quality, Planet Fitness-branded fitness equipment from leading suppliers. In order to maintain a consistent experience across our store base, we stipulate specific pieces and quantities of cardio and strength-training equipment and work with franchisees to review and approve layouts and placement. Due to our scale, we are able to negotiate competitive pricing and secure extended warranties from our suppliers. As a result, we believe we offer equipment at more attractive pricing than franchisees could otherwise secure on their own.
Leases
We lease all but one of our corporate-owned stores and our corporate headquarters. Our store leases typically have initial terms of 10 years with two five-year renewal options, exercisable at our discretion. In October 2016, we executed a lease for our current corporate headquarters at 4 Liberty Lane West, Hampton, New Hampshire for an initial term of 15 years with one five-year renewal option, exercisable at our discretion. Our corporate headquarters serves as our base of operations for substantially all of our executive management and employees who provide our primary corporate support functions.
Franchisees own or directly lease from a third-party each Planet Fitness franchise location. We have not historically owned or entered into leases for Planet Fitness franchisee-owned stores and historically have generally not guaranteed franchisees’ lease agreements, although we have done so in a few certain instances. In 2019, in connection with a real estate partnership, we began
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guaranteeing certain leases of our franchisees up to a maximum period of ten years, with earlier expiration dates if certain conditions are met.
Franchising
Franchising strategy
We rely heavily on our franchising strategy to develop new Planet Fitness stores, leveraging the ownership of entrepreneurs with specific local market expertise. As of December 31, 2020, there were 2,021 franchised Planet Fitness stores operated by approximately 130 franchisee groups. The majority of our existing franchise operators are multi-unit operators. As of December 31, 2020, 97% of all franchise stores were owned and operated by a franchisee group that owns at least three stores. However, while our largest franchisee owns 169 stores, only 35% of our franchisee groups own more than ten stores. When considering a potential franchisee, we generally evaluate the potential franchisee’s prior experience in franchising or other multi-unit businesses, history in managing profit and loss operations, financial history and available capital and financing. We generally do not permit franchisees to borrow more than 80% of the initial investment for their Planet Fitness business.
Area development agreements
An ADA specifies the number of Planet Fitness stores to be developed by the franchisee in a designated geographic area, and requires the franchisee to meet certain scheduled deadlines for the development and opening of each Planet Fitness store authorized by the ADA. If the franchisee meets those obligations and otherwise complies with the terms of the ADA, with a few limited exceptions we agree not to, during the term of the ADA, operate or franchise new Planet Fitness stores in the designated geographic area. The franchisee must sign a separate franchise agreement with us for each Planet Fitness store developed under an ADA and that franchise agreement governs the franchisee’s right to own and operate the Planet Fitness store.
Franchise agreements
For each franchised Planet Fitness store, we enter into a franchise agreement covering standard terms and conditions. Planet Fitness franchisees are not granted an exclusive area or territory under the franchise agreement. The franchise agreement requires that the franchisee operate the Planet Fitness store at a specific location and in compliance with our standard methods of operation, including providing the services, using the vendors and selling the merchandise that we require. The typical franchise agreement has a 10-year term. Additionally, franchisees must purchase equipment from us (or our required vendors in the case of our franchisees located in certain international markets) and generally replace the fitness equipment in their stores every five to seven years and periodically refurbish and remodel their stores.
Site selection and approval
Our stores are generally located in free-standing retail buildings or neighborhood shopping centers, and we consider locations in both high- and low-density markets. We seek out locations with (i) high visibility and accessibility, (ii) favorable traffic counts and patterns, (iii) availability of signage, (iv) ample parking or access to public transportation and (v) our targeted demographics. We use third-party site analytics tools that provide us with extensive demographic data and analysis that we use to review new and existing sites and markets for our corporate-owned stores and franchisee-owned stores. We assess population density and drive time, current tenant mix, layout, potential competition and impact on existing Planet Fitness stores and comparative data based upon existing stores. Our real estate team meets regularly to review sites for future development and follows a detailed review process to ensure each site aligns with our strategic growth objectives and critical success factors.
We help franchisees select sites and develop facilities in these stores that conform to the physical specifications for a Planet Fitness store. Each franchisee is responsible for selecting a site, but must obtain site approval from us.
Design and construction
Once we have approved a franchisee’s site selection, we assist in the design and layout of the store and track the franchisee’s progress from lease signing to grand opening. Franchisees are offered the assistance of our franchise support team to track key milestones, coordinate with vendors and make equipment purchases. Certain Planet Fitness brand elements are required to be incorporated into every new store, and we strive for a consistent appearance across all of our stores, emphasizing clean, attractive facilities, including full-size locker rooms, and modern equipment. Franchisees must abide by our standards related to fixtures, finishes and design elements, including distinctive touches such as our “Lunk” alarm. We believe these elements are critical to ensure brand consistency and member experience system-wide.
In 2020 and 2019, based on a sample of U.S. franchisee data, we believe construction of franchise stores averaged approximately 14 weeks, except in cases where local health authorities did not permit construction for a period of time due to COVID-19. We sampled construction costs to build new stores from across a wide range of U.S. geographies, 46 new stores, in both 2020 and 2019. Based upon these samples, franchisees’ unlevered (i.e., not debt-financed) investment to open a new store
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ranged from approximately $1.6 million to $3.7 million and $1.6 million to $3.4 million, based upon our samples in 2020 and 2019, respectively. These amounts include fitness equipment purchased from us as well as costs for non-fitness equipment and leasehold improvements and is based in part upon data we received from four general contractors that oversaw the construction of the stores in the sample set. Additionally, these amounts include an estimate of other costs that are typically paid by the franchisee and not managed by the general contractor. These amounts can vary significantly depending on a number of factors, including landlord allowances for tenant improvements and construction costs from different geographies and does not necessarily represent the total construction costs on a cash basis.
Franchisee support
We live and breathe the motto One Team, One Planet in our daily interactions with franchisees. We designed our franchise model to be streamlined and easy-to-operate, with efficient staffing and minimal inventory, and is supported by an active, engaged franchise operations system. We provide our franchisees with operational support, marketing materials and training resources.
Training. We continue to update and expand Planet Fitness University, a comprehensive training resource to help franchisees operate successful stores. Courses are delivered online, and content focuses on customer service, operational policies, brand standards, cleanliness, security awareness, crisis management and vendor product information. The core online curriculum is offered in both English and Spanish to support our Spanish-speaking employees. We regularly add and improve the content available on Planet Fitness University as a no-cost service to help enhance training programs for franchisees. Additional training opportunities offered to our franchisees include new owner orientation, operations training and workshops held at Planet Fitness headquarters (when circumstances permit), in stores and through regularly held webinars and seminars.
Operational support and communication. We believe spending quality time with our franchisees in person is an important opportunity to further strengthen our relationships and share best practices. We have dedicated operations and marketing teams providing ongoing support to franchisees. We are hands on—we often attend franchisees’ presales and grand openings, and we host franchisee meetings each year, known as “PF Huddles.” We also communicate regularly with our franchisee base to keep them informed, and we host a franchise conference, generally every 18 months, that is geared toward franchisees and their operations teams.
We regularly communicate and collaborate with the Independent Franchise Counsel (“IFC”) and send a weekly email communication to all franchisees with timely information related to operations, marketing, financing and equipment. Every month, a franchisee newsletter is emailed to franchisees, which generally includes a personal note from our Chief Executive Officer.
Compliance with brand standards—Franchise Business Coach
Our corporate-owned stores provide incentive compensation for store staff to successfully drive key business metrics in the service, cleanliness, personnel and financial categories, and we encourage our franchisees to follow our lead. We have a dedicated field support team of franchise business coaches focused on ensuring that our franchisee-owned stores adhere to brand standards and providing ongoing assistance, training and coaching to all franchisees. We generally perform a site visit and operations review on each franchise store within 30 to 60 days of opening, and each franchisee ownership group is visited at least once per year in multiple locations for a business review with their franchise business coach thereafter.
We also use mystery shoppers to perform anonymous reviews of franchisee-owned stores. We generally select franchisee-owned stores for review randomly but also target underperforming stores and stores that have not performed well on previous visits from their franchise business coach.
Marketing
Marketing strategy
Our marketing strategy is anchored by our key brand differentiators—the Judgement Free Zone, our exceptional value and our high-quality experience. We employ memorable and creative advertising, which not only drives membership sales, but also showcases our brand philosophy, humor and innovation in the industry. We see Planet Fitness as a community gathering place, and the heart of our marketing strategy is to create a welcoming in-store and virtual community for our members.
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Marketing spending
National advertising. We support our franchisees both at a national and local level. We manage the NAF and Canadian advertising fund for franchisees and corporate-owned stores, with the goals of generating national awareness through national advertising and media partnerships, developing and maintaining creative assets to support local sale periods throughout the year, and building and supporting the Planet Fitness community via digital, social media and public relations. Our current U.S. and Canadian franchise agreements require franchisees to contribute approximately 2% of their monthly EFT annually to the NAF and Canadian advertising fund, respectively. Since the NAF was founded in September 2011, it has enabled us to spend approximately $1 billion to increase national brand awareness. In 2020 the NAF and Canadian advertising fund spent $63.5 million, $2.2 million of which is from our corporate-owned stores and included in store-operations expense on the consolidated statements of operations.
Local marketing. Our current franchise agreement generally requires franchisees to spend 7% of their monthly EFT on local marketing to support branding efforts and promotional sale periods throughout the year. In situations where multiple ownership groups exist in a geographic area, we have the right to require franchisees to form or join regional marketing cooperatives to maximize the impact of their marketing spending. Our corporate-owned stores contribute to, and participate in, regional marketing cooperatives with franchisees where practical. All franchisee-owned stores are supported by our dedicated franchisee marketing team, which provides guidance, tracking, measurement and advice on best practices. Franchisees spend their marketing dollars in a variety of ways to promote business at their stores on a local level. These methods may include direct mail, outdoor (including billboards), television, radio and digital advertisements and local partnerships and sponsorships.
Media partnerships
Given our scale and marketing resources through our NAF, we have aligned ourselves with high-profile media partners who have helped to extend the reach of our brand. For the past six years, we have sponsored “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” and have been the sole presenting sponsor of the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration through the Times Square Alliance, allowing the brand to be featured prominently in TV broadcasts covering Times Square during the celebration. This has allowed us to showcase the Planet Fitness brand and our judgement-free philosophy to an estimated over one billion TV viewers annually at a key time of year when health and wellness is top of mind for consumers.
United We Move
We believe in keeping people active and moving. During the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, we launched the United We Move initiative, providing free streaming workouts to members and prospective members on Facebook Live and YouTube. We plan to continue offering these workouts in 2021.
Judgement Free Generation
The Judgement Free Generation is Planet Fitness’ philanthropic initiative designed to combat the judgement and bullying faced by today’s youth by creating a culture of kindness and encouragement. With our Judgement Free Zone principle as a solid foundation, The Judgement Free Generation aims to empower a generation to grow up contributing to a more judgement free planet— a place where everyone feels accepted and like they belong.
We have partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and PACER National Bullying Prevention Center, to make a meaningful impact on the lives of today’s youth. Together with our franchisees, vendors and members, Planet Fitness has donated more than $5.0 million to support anti-bullying, pro-kindness initiatives since 2016.
Competition
In a broad sense, because many of our members are first-time or occasional gym users, we believe we compete with both fitness and non-fitness consumer discretionary spending alternatives for members’ and prospective members’ time and discretionary resources.
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To a great extent, we also compete with other industry participants, including:
other fitness centers;
recreational facilities established by non-profit organizations such as YMCAs and by businesses for their employees;
private studios and other boutique fitness offerings;
racquet, tennis and other athletic clubs;
amenity and condominium/apartment clubs;
country clubs;
online personal training and fitness coaching;
the home-use fitness equipment industry;
local tanning salons; and
businesses offering similar services.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the health club industry, we expect that the industry will continue to be highly competitive and fragmented going forward. The number, size and strength of our competitors vary by region. Some of our competitors have an established presence in local markets or name recognition in their respective countries, and some are established in markets in which we have existing stores or intend to locate new stores. This competition is more significant internationally, where we have a limited number of stores and limited brand recognition.
Our objective is to compete primarily based upon the membership value proposition we are able to offer due to our significant economies of scale, high-quality fitness experience, judgement-free atmosphere and superior customer service, all at an attractive value, which we believe differentiates us from our competitors.
Our competition continues to increase as we continue to expand into new markets and add stores in existing markets. See also “Risk Factors—Risks related to our business and industry—The high level of competition in the health and fitness industry could materially and adversely affect our business.”
Suppliers
Franchisees are required to purchase fitness equipment from us (or our required vendors in the case of franchisees located in certain international markets) and are required to purchase various other items from vendors that we approve. We sell equipment purchased from third-party equipment manufacturers to franchisee-owned stores in the U.S. We also have one approved supplier of tanning beds, one approved supplier of massage beds and chairs, and various approved suppliers of non-fitness equipment and miscellaneous items. These vendors arrange for delivery of products and services directly to franchisee-owned stores. From time to time, we re-evaluate our supply relationships to ensure we obtain competitive pricing and high-quality equipment and other items.
Human Capital
Workforce
As of December 31, 2020, we employed 1,387 employees at our corporate-owned stores and 229 employees at our corporate headquarters located at 4 Liberty Lane West, Hampton, New Hampshire. None of our employees are represented by labor unions, and we believe we have an excellent relationship with our employees.
Planet Fitness franchises are independently owned and operated businesses. As such, employees of our franchisees are not employees of the Company.
Strategy
At Planet Fitness, we believe that an engaged, diverse, and inclusive culture is essential for the success of our business. To elevate our approach, in 2019 we hired a Chief People Officer to develop and implement an overarching human capital management strategy, programming and initiatives. Based on strategic analysis regarding the immediate and future needs of our business and our team members, we identified three critical areas of focus: Employee Engagement and Workplace Culture, Employee Health and Safety, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (“DE&I”). We believe that focus and investment in these three areas will, in turn, generate long-term value.
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Employee Engagement and Workplace Culture
At Planet Fitness, we believe that culture is the core of our business. To ensure that our culture is rooted in ongoing engagement with our team members, our Chief People Officer hosts ongoing small informal meetings with team members across all departments. These conversations are designed to bring feedback about aspects of the business that are important to our workforce to the forefront of management’s attention, and to increase direct engagement and trust at every level of the company. Feedback is carefully reviewed by our human resources teams and shared with our executive leadership team, including our CEO.
We maintain numerous additional avenues for learning from our team members, ranging from anonymous surveys to townhall Q&A sessions and other ongoing opportunities to share thoughts and ideas. In 2020, we conducted a topic-specific survey to assess sentiment around a variety of topics such as workplace flexibility (i.e., remote/in-office), DE&I efforts, and improving our culture, and, in response, made several updates to our benefits package while ensuring existing programs were properly communicated to eligible team members (including, for instance, our enhanced parental leave and early release Fridays for increased flexibility). Our employee satisfaction score has continued to increase year over year since 2018, and we are continually seeking new ways to hear from our team members regarding their priorities and needs.
Training & Development
A critical component of maintaining our engaged and inclusive culture is making investments in our team members at all levels. Programs at Planet Fitness range from ongoing professional-level workshops led by our training department to numerous online courses that are broadly available to all team members via PF University. We also host mandatory unconscious bias trainings for our team members. To ensure that we accelerate the development our highest-potential team members, in 2017 we established the Leadership Academy, a professional development series offered to team members who are managers or hold other more senior roles.
Health & Safety
Given our core mission is centered on improving people’s lives and keeping people healthy and the customer-facing nature of our business, the overall health and safety of our team members and our members has been a longstanding priority for the company and a core component of our broader environmental, social and corporate governance (“ESG”) objectives and strategy. In 2020, we were able to draw on our knowledge, experience and commitment to health and safety to act quickly to protect our Planet Fitness community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our COVID-19 policies and protocols, which we developed in consultation with national and global health experts, include:
Implementing policies to keep people safe, including requiring all employees and members to wear masks in our stores, physical distancing measures, and enhanced cleaning and sanitization;
Equipping stores with disinfectant effective against COVID-19 on surfaces; and
Adding a COVID-19 wellness questionnaire and touchless check-in via the Planet Fitness app.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
We recognize that diversity of our workforce at all levels of our company is a business and social imperative. To assess and accelerate our efforts, in 2020 we formed a DE&I Task Force, with responsibility for developing a strategic roadmap to address short- and long-term priorities as well as a plan for ensuring that we continue to make progress.
Planet Fitness measures diversity across ethnic/racial groups, gender and employee level to help inform human capital management strategies and ensure an engaged workforce. We will publicly disclose Equal Opportunity Employment Standard Form 100 data from 2019 and 2020 in our 2020 Impact Report.
Information technology and systems
All stores use a computerized, third-party hosted store management system to process new in-store memberships, bill members, update member information, check-in members, process point of sale transactions as well as track and analyze sales, membership statistics, cross-store utilization, member tenure, amenity usage, billing performance and demographic profiles by member. Our websites and mobile platforms are hosted by third parties, and we also rely on third-party vendors for related functions such as our system for processing and integrating new online memberships, updating member information and making online payments. We believe these systems are scalable to support our growth plans.
Our back-office computer systems are comprised of a variety of technologies designed to assist in the management and analysis of our revenues, costs and key operational metrics as well as support the daily operations of our headquarters. These computer systems include third-party hosted systems that support our real estate and construction processes, a third-party hosted financial system, third-party hosted data warehouses and business intelligence system to consolidate multiple data sources for reporting,
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advanced analysis, consumer insights and financial analysis and forecasting, a third-party hosted payroll system, on premise telephony systems and a third-party hosted call center software solution to manage and track member-related requests.
We also provide our franchisees access to a web-based, third-party hosted custom franchise management system to receive informational notices, operational resources and updates, training materials and other franchisee communications.
In 2018, we engaged with a third-party software development vendor to develop a new, custom digital platform, which, through the exchange of data and introduction of digital products and services, facilitates digital experiences across any digital channel, including mobile, online and in-store media. In 2019, we worked with one of our third party software development partners to develop and roll-out a new customized mobile application. We also evaluated and selected a new in-store media solution that began rolling out to our stores in 2020. In 2020, we began introducing premium digital content through a partnership, across multiple channels, but primarily through our mobile app. These solutions have facilitated our ability to continue providing differentiated and unique experiences to our customers, allow for various partnership types and are aligned with our ongoing business strategy.
We recognize the value of enhancing and extending the uses of information technology in virtually every area of our business. Our information technology strategy is aligned to support our business strategy and operating plans. We maintain an ongoing comprehensive multi-year program to replace or upgrade key systems, enhance security and optimize their performance.
Intellectual property
We own many registered trademarks and service marks in the U.S. and in other countries, including “Planet Fitness,” “Judgement Free Zone,” “PE@PF,” “Lunk Alarm,” “Black Card,” “PF Black Card,” “No Gymtimidation,” “You Belong,” “The Judgement Free Generation,” “United We Move” and various other trademarks and trade dress. We believe the Planet Fitness name and the many distinctive marks associated with it are of significant value and are very important to our business. Accordingly, as a general policy, we pursue registration of our marks in select international jurisdictions, monitor the use of our marks in the U.S. and internationally and challenge any unauthorized use of the marks.
We license the use of our marks to franchisees, third-party vendors and others through franchise agreements, vendor agreements and licensing agreements. These agreements typically restrict third parties’ activities with respect to use of the marks and impose brand standards requirements. We require licensees to inform us of any potential infringement of the marks.
We register some of our copyrighted material and otherwise rely on common law protection of our copyrighted works. Such copyrighted materials are not material to our business.
We also license some intellectual property from third parties for use in our stores but such licenses are not material to our business.
Government regulation
We and our franchisees are subject to various federal, international, state, provincial and local laws and regulations affecting our business.
We are subject to the FTC Franchise Rule promulgated by the FTC that regulates the offer and sale of franchises in the U.S. and its territories (including Puerto Rico) and requires us to provide to all prospective franchisees certain mandatory disclosure in a franchise disclosure document (“FDD”), unless otherwise exempt. In addition, we are subject to state franchise registration and disclosure laws in approximately 14 states and various business opportunity laws that regulate the offer and sale of franchises by requiring us, unless otherwise exempt, to register our franchise offering in those states prior to our making any offer or sale of a franchise in those states and to provide a FDD to prospective franchisees in accordance with such laws.
We are subject to franchise disclosure laws in six provinces in Canada that regulate the offer and sale of franchises by requiring us, unless otherwise exempt, to prepare and deliver a franchise disclosure document to disclose our franchise offering in those provinces in a prescribed format to prospective franchisees in accordance with such laws, and that regulate certain aspects of the franchise relationship. We are subject to similar franchise sales laws in Mexico and Australia, and may become subject to similar laws in other countries in which we may offer franchises in the future. We are also subject to franchise relationship laws in approximately 20 states and in various U.S. territories that regulate many aspects of the franchise relationship including, depending upon the jurisdiction, renewals and terminations of franchise agreements, franchise transfers, the applicable law and venue in which franchise disputes may be resolved, discrimination, and franchisees’ rights to associate, among others. In addition, we and our franchisees may also be subject to laws in other foreign countries where we or they do business.
We and our franchisees are also subject to the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, similar state laws in certain jurisdictions, and various other U.S. and international laws governing such matters as minimum-wage requirements, overtime and other working conditions. Based on our experience with hiring employees and operating stores, we believe a significant
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number of our and our franchisees’ employees are paid at rates related to the U.S. federal or state minimum wage, and past increases in the U.S. federal and/or state minimum wage have increased labor costs, as would future increases.
Our and our franchisees’ operations and properties are subject to extensive U.S. federal and state, as well as international, provincial and local laws and regulations, including those relating to environmental, building and zoning requirements. Our and our franchisees’ development of properties depends to a significant extent on the selection and acquisition of suitable sites, which are subject to zoning, land use, environmental, traffic and other regulations and requirements.
We and our franchisees are responsible at each of our respective locations for compliance with U.S. state laws, Canadian provincial laws and other international local laws that regulate the relationship between health clubs and their members. Nearly all states and provinces have consumer protection regulations that limit the collection of monthly membership dues prior to opening, require certain disclosures of pricing information, mandate the maximum length of contracts and “cooling off” periods for members (after the purchase of a membership), set escrow and bond requirements for health clubs, govern member rights in the event of a member relocation or disability, provide for specific member rights when a health club closes or relocates or preclude automatic membership renewals.
We and our franchisees primarily accept payments for our memberships through EFTs from members’ bank accounts, and therefore, we and our franchisees are subject to federal, state and international laws legislation and certification requirements, including the Electronic Funds Transfer Act. Some states and provinces have passed or have considered legislation requiring gyms and health clubs to offer a prepaid membership option at all times and/or limit the duration for which memberships can auto-renew through EFT payments, if at all. Our business relies heavily on the fact that our memberships continue on a month-to-month basis after the completion of any initial term requirements, and compliance with these laws, regulations, and similar requirements may be onerous and expensive, and variances and inconsistencies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction may further increase the cost of compliance and doing business. States that have such health club statutes provide harsh penalties for violations, including membership contracts being void or voidable.
Additionally, the collection, maintenance, use, disclosure and disposal of personally identifiable data by our, or our franchisees’, businesses are regulated at the federal, state and international levels as well as by certain financial industry groups, such as the Payment Card Industry, Security Standards Council, the National Automated Clearing House Association (“NACHA”) and the Canadian Payments Association. Federal, state, international and financial industry groups may also consider from time to time new privacy and security requirements that may apply to our businesses and may impose further restrictions on our collection, disclosure, use, and disposal of personally identifiable information that is housed in one or more of our databases. These security requirements and further restrictions, including the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), grant protections and causes of action related to consumer data privacy and the methods in which it is collected, stored, used, and disposed by us, our franchisees, and applicable third parties.
Many of the states and provinces where we and our franchisees operate stores have health and safety regulations that apply to health clubs and other facilities that offer indoor tanning services, including certain temporary regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, U.S. federal law imposes a 10% excise tax on indoor tanning services. Under the rule promulgated by the IRS imposing the tax, a portion of the cost of memberships that include access to our tanning services are subject to the tax.
Our organizational structure
Planet Fitness, Inc. is a holding company, and its principal asset is an equity interest in the membership units (“Holdings Units”) in Pla-Fit Holdings, LLC (“Pla-Fit Holdings”).
We are the sole managing member of Pla-Fit Holdings. We operate and control all of the business and affairs of Pla-Fit Holdings, and we hold 100% of the voting interest in Pla-Fit Holdings. As a result, we consolidate Pla-Fit Holdings’ financial results and report a non-controlling interest related to the Holdings Units not owned by us. See Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 for more information.
Available information
Our website address is www.planetfitness.com, and our investor relations website is located at http://investor.planetfitness.com. Information on our website is not incorporated by reference herein. Copies of our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and our Proxy Statements for our annual meetings of shareholders, and any amendments to those reports, as well as Section 16 reports filed by our insiders, are available free of charge on our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we file the reports with, or furnish the reports to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).The SEC maintains an Internet site (http://www.sec.gov) containing reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC.

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Item 1A. Risk Factors.
We could be adversely impacted by various risks and uncertainties. If any of these risks actually occurs, our business, financial condition, operating results, cash flow and prospects may be materially and adversely affected. As a result, the trading price of our Class A common stock could decline.
Summary of Risk Factors
Risks related to our business and industry
Our business and results of operations have been and are expected to continue to be materially impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and could be impacted by similar events in the future.
Our success depends substantially on the value of our brand, which could be materially and adversely affected by the high level of competition in the health and fitness industry, our ability to anticipate and satisfy consumer preferences, shifting views of health and fitness and our ability to obtain and retain high-profile strategic partnership arrangements.
Our and our franchisees’ stores may be unable to attract and retain members, which would materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our intellectual property rights, including trademarks, trade names, copyrights and trade dress, may be infringed, misappropriated or challenged by others.
We and our franchisees rely heavily on information systems, including the use of email marketing and social media, and any material failure, interruption or weakness may prevent us from effectively operating our business, damage our reputation or subject us to potential fines or other penalties.
If we fail to properly maintain the confidentiality and integrity of our data, including member credit card, debit card, bank account information and other personally identifiable information, our reputation and business could be materially and adversely affected.
The occurrence of cyber incidents, or a deficiency in cybersecurity, could negatively impact our business by causing a disruption to our operations, a compromise or corruption of confidential information, and/or damage to our employee and business relationships and reputation, all of which could harm our brand and our business.
If we fail to successfully implement our growth strategy, which includes new store development by existing and new franchisees, our ability to increase our revenues and operating profits could be adversely affected.
Our planned growth and changes in the industry could place strains on our management, employees, information systems and internal controls, which may adversely impact our business.
If we cannot retain our key employees and hire additional highly qualified employees, we may not be able to successfully manage our businesses and pursue our strategic objectives.
Economic, political and other risks associated with our international operations could adversely affect our profitability and international growth prospects.
Our financial results are affected by the operating and financial results of, our relationships with and actions taken by our franchisees.
We are subject to a variety of additional risks associated with our franchisees, such as potential franchisee bankruptcies, franchisee changes in control, franchisee turnover rising costs related to construction of new stores and maintenance of existing stores, which could adversely affect the attractiveness of our franchise model, and in turn our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We and our franchisees could be subject to claims related to health and safety risks to members that arise while at both our corporate-owned and franchise stores.
Our business is subject to various laws and regulations including, among others, those governing indoor tanning, electronic funds transfer, ACH, credit card, debit card and digital payment options, and changes in such laws and regulations, failure to comply with existing or future laws and regulations or failure to adjust to consumer sentiment regarding these matters, could harm our reputation and adversely affect our business.
We are subject to risks associated with leasing property subject to long-term non-cancelable leases.
If we and our franchisees are unable to identify and secure suitable sites for new franchise stores, our revenue growth rate and profits may be negatively impacted.
Opening new stores in close proximity may negatively impact our existing stores’ revenues and profitability.
Our franchisees may incur rising costs related to construction of new stores and maintenance of existing stores, which could adversely affect the attractiveness of our franchise model, and in turn our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our dependence on a limited number of suppliers for equipment and certain products and services could result in disruptions to our business and could adversely affect our revenues and gross profit.
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Risks related to our indebtedness
Substantially all of the assets of certain of our subsidiaries are security, under the terms of securitization transactions that were completed on August 1, 2018 and December 3, 2019 and which impose certain restrictions on our activities and the activities of our subsidiaries.
We have a significant amount of debt outstanding, which will require a significant amount of cash to service and such indebtedness, along with the other contractual commitments of our subsidiaries, could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, as well as the ability of certain of our subsidiaries to meet their debt payment obligations.
The ability to generate cash or refinance our indebtedness as it becomes due depends on many factors, some of which are beyond our control.
Risks related to our organizational structure
We will be required to pay certain of our existing and previous owners for certain tax benefits we may claim. We expect that the payments we will be required to make will be substantial and may be accelerated and/or significantly exceed the actual benefits we realize in respect of the tax attributes subject to the tax receivable agreements and we will not be reimbursed for any payments made pursuant to the tax receivable agreements in the event that any tax benefits are disallowed.
Unanticipated changes in effective tax rates or adverse outcomes resulting from examination of our income or other tax returns could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Our ability to pay taxes and expenses, including payments under the tax receivable agreements, may be limited by our structure.
In certain circumstances, Pla-Fit Holdings will be required to make distributions to us and the Continuing LLC Owners, and the distributions that Pla-Fit Holdings will be required to make may be substantial.
Risks related to our Class A common stock
Provisions of our corporate governance documents could make an acquisition of our Company more difficult and may prevent attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management, even if beneficial to our stockholders.
Our organizational structure, including the tax receivable agreements, confers certain benefits upon the TRA Holders and the Continuing LLC Owners that do not benefit Class A common stockholders to the same extent as it will benefit the TRA Holders and the Continuing LLC Owners.
If our internal control over financial reporting or our disclosure controls and procedures are not effective, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results, prevent fraud or file our periodic reports in a timely manner, which may cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information and may lead to a decline in our stock price.
Our certificate of incorporation designates courts in the State of Delaware as the sole and exclusive forum for certain types of actions and proceedings that may be initiated by our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers or employees.
Our stock price could be extremely volatile, and, as a result, stockholders may not be able to resell shares at or above their purchase price.
Because we do not currently pay any cash dividends on our Class A common stock, you may not receive any return on investment unless you sell your Class A common stock for a price greater than that which you paid for it.
Financial forecasting may differ materially from actual results.
Risks related to our business and industry
Our business and results of operations have been and are expected to continue to be materially impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The outbreak of disease caused by COVID-19, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020, continues to impact worldwide consumer behavior and economic activity. A public health pandemic such as COVID-19 poses the risk that we or our employees, franchisees, members, suppliers and other partners may be prevented from conducting business activities for an indefinite period of time, including due to shutdowns, travel restrictions, social distancing requirements, stay at home orders and advisories and other restrictions that may be suggested or mandated by governmental authorities. The COVID-19 pandemic may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described elsewhere in this report, such as those relating to our growth strategy, international operations, our ability to attract and retain members, our supply chain, health and safety risks to our members, loss of key employees and changes in consumer preferences, as well as risks related to our significant indebtedness, including our ability to generate sufficient cash and comply with the terms of and restrictions under the agreements governing such indebtedness.
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The extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic remains highly uncertain and difficult to predict. However, the continued spread of the virus and the measures taken in response to it have disrupted our operations and have adversely impacted our business, financial condition and results of operations. For example, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we proactively closed all of our stores system-wide beginning in mid-March 2020, temporarily furloughed a majority of our corporate-owned store employees while corporate-owned stores remained closed, suspended billing membership and annual fees while stores were closed and temporarily suspended sales and placement of equipment. We and our franchisees took other actions, such as temporary rent deferrals and suspension of marketing activities, as additional measures to preserve cash and liquidity during closure periods. Temporary rent deferrals have often led to renegotiated rent payment schedules with landlords, some of which remain unresolved and may affect us or our franchisees in future periods. As COVID-19 continues to impact areas in which our stores operate, certain of our stores have had to re-close or significantly reduce capacity, and additional stores may have to re-close or further reduce capacity, pursuant to local guidelines. As a result of COVID-19, we have also experienced to date, and may continue to experience, a decrease in our net membership base. The significance of the ultimate operational and financial impact to us will depend on how long and widespread the disruptions caused by COVID-19, and the corresponding response to contain the virus and treat those affected by it, prove to be.
Our success depends substantially on the value of our brand.
Our success is dependent in large part upon our ability to maintain and enhance the value of our brand, our store members’ connection to our brand and a positive relationship with our franchisees. Brand value can be severely damaged even by isolated incidents, particularly if the incidents receive considerable negative publicity or result in litigation. Some of these incidents may relate to our policies, the way we manage our relationships with our franchisees, our growth strategies, our development efforts or the ordinary course of our, or our franchisees’, businesses. Other incidents that could be damaging to our brand may arise from events that are or may be beyond our ability to control, such as:
 
actions taken (or not taken) by one or more franchisees or their employees relating to health, safety, welfare or otherwise;
data security breaches or fraudulent activities associated with our and our franchisees’ electronic payment systems;
regulatory, investigative or other actions relating to our and our franchisees’ data privacy practices;
litigation and legal claims;
third-party misappropriation, dilution or infringement or other violation of our intellectual property;
regulatory, investigative or other actions relating to our and our franchisees’ provision of indoor tanning services;
illegal activity targeted at us or others; and
conduct by individuals affiliated with us which could violate ethical standards or otherwise harm the reputation of our brand.
Consumer demand for our stores and our brand’s value could diminish significantly if any such incidents or other matters erode consumer confidence in us, our stores or our reputation as a health and fitness brand, which would likely result in fewer memberships sold or renewed and, ultimately, lower royalty revenue, which in turn could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
The high level of competition in the health and fitness industry could materially and adversely affect our business.
We compete with the following industry participants: other health and fitness clubs; physical fitness and recreational facilities established by non-profit organizations and businesses for their employees; private studios and other boutique fitness offerings; racquet, tennis and other athletic clubs; amenity and condominium/apartment clubs; country clubs; online personal training and fitness coaching; delivery of digital fitness content; the home-use fitness equipment industry; local tanning salons; businesses offering similar services; and other businesses that rely on consumer discretionary spending. We may not be able to compete effectively in the markets in which we operate. Competitors may attempt to copy our business model, or portions thereof, which could erode our market share and brand recognition and impair our growth rate and profitability. Competitors, including companies that are larger and have greater resources than us, may compete with us to attract members in our markets. Non-profit organizations in our markets may be able to obtain land and construct stores at a lower cost and collect membership dues and fees without paying taxes, thereby allowing them to charge lower prices. Luxury fitness companies may attempt to enter our market by lowering prices or creating lower price brand alternatives. Furthermore, due to the increased number of low-cost health and fitness club alternatives, we may face increased competition if we increase our price or if discretionary spending declines. This competition may limit our ability to attract and retain existing members and our ability to attract new members, which in each case could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. Consumer demand for digital fitness offerings may increase, which could require us to effectively recruit the skills and talent structure needed to adequately compete in this space, in addition to investing incremental marketing funds to produce differentiated content.
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If we are unable to anticipate and satisfy consumer preferences and shifting views of health and fitness, our business may be adversely affected.
Our success depends on our ability to anticipate and satisfy consumer preferences relating to health and fitness. Our business is and all of our services are subject to changing consumer preferences that cannot be predicted with certainty. Developments or shifts in research or public opinion on the types of health and fitness services we provide could negatively impact the business or consumers’ preferences for health and fitness services could shift rapidly to different types of health and fitness centers or at-home fitness options; and we may be unable to anticipate and respond to shifts in consumer preferences. It is also possible that competitors could introduce new products and services that negatively impact consumer preference for our business model, or that consumers could prefer health and fitness opportunities outside of the gym that do not align with our business model. Failure to predict and respond to changes in public opinion, public research and consumer preferences could adversely impact our business.
If we fail to obtain and retain high-profile strategic partnership arrangements, or if the reputation of any of our partners is impaired, our business may suffer.
A principal component of our marketing program has been to partner with high-profile marketing partners, such as our sponsorship of ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2021,” to help us extend the reach of our brand. Although we have partnered with several well-known partners in this manner, we may not be able to attract and partner with new marketing partners in the future. In addition, if the actions of our partners were to damage their reputation, our partnerships may be less attractive to our current or prospective members. Any of these failures by us or our partners could adversely affect our business and revenues.
Our and our franchisees’ stores may be unable to attract and retain members, which would materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our target market is average people seeking regular exercise and people who are new to fitness. The success of our business depends on our and our franchisees’ ability to attract and retain members. Our and our franchisees’ marketing efforts may not be successful in attracting members to stores, and membership levels may materially decline over time, especially at stores in operation for an extended period of time. Members may cancel their memberships at any time after giving proper notification, in accordance with the terms of their membership agreement, subject to an initial minimum term applicable to certain memberships. We may also cancel or suspend memberships if a member fails to provide payment for an extended period of time. In addition, we experience attrition and must continually engage existing members and attract new members in order to maintain membership levels. A portion of our member base does not regularly use our stores and may be more likely to cancel their membership. Some of the factors that could lead to a decline in membership levels include changing desires and behaviors of consumers or their perception of our brand, a shift to digital fitness versus our core bricks and mortar fitness offerings, changes in discretionary spending trends and general economic conditions, market maturity or saturation, a decline in our ability to deliver quality service at a competitive price, an increase in monthly membership dues due to inflation, direct and indirect competition in our industry and a decline in the public’s interest in health and fitness, among other factors. In order to increase membership levels, we may from time to time offer promotions or lower monthly dues or annual fees. If we and our franchisees are not successful in optimizing price or in adding new memberships in new and existing stores, growth in monthly membership dues or annual fees may suffer. Any decrease in our average dues or fees or higher membership costs may adversely impact our results of operations and financial condition.
Our intellectual property rights, including trademarks, trade names, copyrights and trade dress, may be infringed, misappropriated or challenged by others.
Our intellectual property (including our brand) is important to our continued success. We seek to protect our trademarks, trade names, copyrights, trade dress and other intellectual property by exercising our rights under applicable state, provincial, federal and international laws. Policing unauthorized use and other violations of our intellectual property rights is difficult, and the steps we take may not prevent misappropriation, infringement, dilution or other violations of our intellectual property, especially internationally where foreign nations may not have laws to protect against “squatting,” or in “first-to-file” nations where trademark rights can be obtained despite a third party’s prior use of our intellectual property. If we were to fail to successfully protect our intellectual property rights for any reason, or if any third party misappropriates, dilutes, infringes or violates our intellectual property, the value of our brand may be harmed, which could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Any damage to our reputation could cause membership levels to decline or make it more difficult to attract new members.
We may also from time to time be required to initiate litigation to enforce our intellectual property rights. Third parties may also assert that we have infringed, diluted, misappropriated or otherwise violated their intellectual property rights, which could lead to litigation against us. Litigation, even where we are likely to prevail, is inherently uncertain and could divert the attention of management, result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and negatively affect our membership sales and
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profitability regardless of whether we are able to successfully enforce or defend our rights. Despite our efforts to enforce and defend our intellectual property rights, title defects can arise from conduct of third parties that we cannot anticipate or control, or our exclusive ownership and control over our intellectual property, especially our rights in trademarks and trade secrets, could be diminished or impaired. For example, under U.S. law a third party’s prior use of a trademark similar to a Planet Fitness trademark could impair our rights in our trademarks, which, despite reasonable research and efforts, we may not have been able to discover or anticipate. In addition, our trade secrets and confidential information could be compromised through misappropriation or unauthorized disclosure, including through a cyber incident, and, despite our reasonable efforts to protect our confidential information and trade secrets, and to maintain the proprietary status thereof, the information could be disclosed or a court could reasonably rule that legal protections provided to trade secrets are no longer enforceable, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flow.
We and our franchisees rely heavily on information systems, and any material failure, interruption or weakness may prevent us from effectively operating our business and damage our reputation.
We and our franchisees increasingly rely on information systems, including point-of-sale processing systems in our stores and other information systems managed by third parties, to interact with our franchisees and members and collect, maintain, store and transmit member information, billing information and other personally identifiable information, including for the operation of stores, collection of cash, legal and regulatory compliance, management of our supply chain, accounting, staffing, payment of obligations, ACH transactions, credit and debit card transactions and other processes and procedures. Since 2015, we have used a commercially available third-party point-of-sale system. Unforeseen issues, such as bugs, data inconsistencies, outages, changes in business processes, and other interruptions with the point-of-sale system in the past have had, and in the future could have, an adverse impact on our business. Additionally, if we move to different third-party systems, or otherwise significantly modify the point-of-sale system, our operations, including EFT drafting, could be interrupted. Our ability to efficiently and effectively manage our franchisee and corporate-owned stores depends significantly on the reliability and capacity of these systems, and any potential failure of these third parties to provide quality uninterrupted service is beyond our control.
In 2018, we engaged with a new third-party software development company to develop a digital platform that runs on new data services and solutions, and facilitates digital experiences across digital channels, including mobile, online, and in-club media. We continue to invest in this platform to deliver new digital experiences that provide better services and value to our store members and franchisees. If we move to a different partner to develop and maintain this platform, or if the current partner’s ability to provide its services is impaired, our operations could increasingly be interrupted. This platform is built on commercial cloud computing platforms and future digital services we may offer could also be sourced from third-party platforms. Such platforms depend on the internet, internet providers and cloud computing providers to deliver ongoing services, the interruption of which could disrupt our operations. Disruption to those platforms and/or services could impact the products and services we offer to our members and affect our membership sales and retention.
Our and our franchisees’ operations depend upon our ability, and the ability of our franchisees and third-party service providers (as well as their third-party service providers), to protect our computer equipment and systems against damage from physical theft, fire, power loss, telecommunications failure or other catastrophic events, as well as from internal and external security breaches, viruses, denial-of-service attacks and other disruptions. The failure of these systems to operate effectively, stemming from maintenance problems, upgrading or transitioning to new platforms, expanding our systems as we grow, a breach in security or other unanticipated problems could result in interruptions to or delays in our business and member services and reduce efficiency in our operations. In addition, the implementation of technology changes and upgrades to maintain current and integrate new systems may also cause service interruptions, operational delays due to the learning curve associated with using a new system, transaction processing errors and system conversion delays and may cause us to fail to comply with applicable laws. If our information systems, or those of our franchisees and third-party service providers (as well as their third-party service providers), fail and our or our partners’ third-party back-up or disaster recovery plans are not adequate to address such failures, our revenues and profits could be reduced and the reputation of our brand and our business could be materially adversely affected, which in turn may materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Use of email marketing and social media may adversely impact our reputation or subject us to fines or other penalties.
There has been a substantial increase in the use of email and social media platforms, including v-logs, blogs, chat platforms, social media websites and other forms of internet-based communication, which allow access to a broad audience of consumers and other interested persons. The rising popularity of social media and other consumer-oriented technologies has increased the speed and accessibility of information dissemination. Negative or false commentary about us may be posted on social media platforms or similar platforms at any time and may harm our business, brand, reputation, marketing partners, financial condition, and results of operations, regardless of the information’s accuracy. Consumers value readily available information about health clubs and often act on such information without further investigation and without regard to its accuracy. The harm may be immediate without affording us an opportunity for redress or correction. In addition, social media platforms provide users with access to such a broad audience that collective action against our stores, such as boycotts, can be more easily
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organized. If such actions were organized, we could suffer reputational damage as well as physical damage to our stores. Social media and other platforms have in the past been and may in the future be used to attack us, our information security systems and our reputation, including through use of spam, spyware, ransomware, phishing and social engineering, viruses, worms, malware, distributed denial of service attacks, password attacks, “Man in the Middle” attacks, cybersquatting, impersonation of employees or officers, abuse of comments and message boards, fake reviews, doxing and swatting. We have a cyber security policy that attempts to prevent and respond to these attacks. Nonetheless, these types of attacks are pervasive inside and outside of the industry and could lead to the improper disclosure of proprietary information, negative comments about our brand, exposure of personally identification information, fraud, hoaxes or malicious dissemination of false information, which could lead to a decline in the value of our brand, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We also use email and social medial platforms as marketing tools. For example, we maintain social media accounts and may occasionally email members to inform them of certain offers or promotions. As laws and regulations, including Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) enforcement, rapidly evolve to govern the use of these platforms and devices, the failure by us, our employees, our franchisees or third parties acting at our direction to abide by applicable laws and regulations in the use of these platforms and devices could adversely impact our and our franchisees’ business, financial condition and results of operations or subject us to fines or other penalties.
If we fail to properly maintain the confidentiality and integrity of our data, including member credit card, debit card, bank account information and other personally identifiable information, our reputation and business could be materially and adversely affected.
In the ordinary course of business, we and our franchisees collect, maintain, store and transmit member and employee data, including credit and debit card numbers, bank account information, driver’s license numbers, dates of birth and other highly sensitive personally identifiable information, in information systems that we maintain and in those maintained by franchisees and third parties with whom we contract to provide services. In 2019, we introduced a mobile application that tracks exercise and activity-related data, which may in the future track other personal information. Some of this data is sensitive and could be an attractive target of a criminal attack by malicious third parties with a wide range of motives and expertise, including lone wolves, organized criminal groups, “hacktivists,” disgruntled current or former employees and others. The integrity and protection of member and employee data is critical to us.
Despite the security measures we have in place to comply with applicable laws and rules, our facilities and systems, and those of our franchisees and third-party service providers (as well as their third-party service providers), may be vulnerable to security breaches, acts of cyber terrorism or sabotage, vandalism or theft, computer viruses, loss or corruption of data, programming or human errors or other similar events. Furthermore, the size and complexity of our information systems, and those of our franchisees and our third-party service providers (as well as their third-party service providers), make such systems potentially vulnerable to security breaches from inadvertent or intentional actions by our employees, franchisees or vendors, or from attacks by malicious third parties. Because such attacks are increasing in sophistication and change frequently in nature, we, our franchisees and our third-party service providers may be unable to anticipate these attacks or implement adequate preventative measures, and any compromise of our systems, or those of our franchisees and third-party service providers (as well as their third-party service providers), may not be discovered and remediated promptly. Changes in consumer behavior following a security breach or perceived breach, act of cyber terrorism or sabotage, vandalism or theft, computer viruses, loss or corruption of data or programming or human error or other similar event affecting a competitor, large retailer or financial institution may materially and adversely affect our business, which in turn may materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Additionally, the handling of personally identifiable information by our, or our franchisees’, businesses are regulated at the federal, state and international levels, as well as by certain industry groups, such as the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, NACHA, Canadian Payments Association and individual credit card issuers. Federal, state, international and industry groups may also consider and implement from time to time new privacy and security requirements that apply to our businesses. Compliance with contractual obligations and evolving privacy and security laws, requirements and regulations may result in cost increases due to necessary systems changes, new limitations or constraints on our business models and the development of new administrative processes. They also may impose further restrictions on our handling of personally identifiable information that are housed in one or more of our, or our franchisees’ databases, or those of our third-party service providers. Noncompliance with privacy laws or industry group requirements or a security breach or perceived non-compliance or breach involving the misappropriation, loss or other unauthorized disclosure of personal, sensitive or confidential information, whether by us or by one of our franchisees or vendors, could have material adverse effects on our and our franchisees’ business, operations, brand, reputation and financial condition, including decreased revenue, material fines and penalties, litigation, increased financial processing fees, compensatory, statutory, punitive or other damages, adverse actions against our licenses to do business and injunctive relief by court or consent order. Despite our efforts, the handling of personally identifiable information may not be in compliance with applicable law, or this information could be disclosed or lost due to a hacking event or unauthorized access to our information system, or through publication or improper disclosure, any of which
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could affect the value of our brand. We maintain and we require our franchisees to maintain cyber risk insurance, but in the event of a significant data security breach, this insurance may not cover all of the losses that we would be likely to suffer.
The occurrence of cyber incidents, or a deficiency in cybersecurity, could negatively impact our business by causing a disruption to our operations, a compromise or corruption of confidential information, and/or damage to our employee and business relationships and reputation, all of which could harm our brand and our business.
We have been in the past, and we could be in the future, subject to cyber incidents or other adverse events that threaten the confidentiality, integrity or availability of information resources, including intentional attacks or unintentional events where parties gain unauthorized access to systems to disrupt operations, corrupt data or steal confidential information about customers, franchisees, vendors and employees. Such attacks have become more common, and many companies have recently experienced serious cyber incidents and breaches of their information technology systems. As our reliance on technology has increased, so have the risks posed to our systems, both internal and those we have outsourced. The three primary risks that could directly result from the occurrence of a cyber incident include operational interruption, damage to the relationship with members and private data exposure, which each in turn could create additional risks and exposure. We maintain insurance coverage to address cyber incidents, and have also implemented processes, procedures and controls to help mitigate these risks. However, these measures do not guarantee that our reputation and financial results will not be adversely affected by such an incident.
Because our franchisees accept electronic forms of payment from their customers, our business requires the collection and retention of customer data, including credit and debit card numbers and other personally identifiable information in various information systems that we and our franchisees maintain and in those maintained by third parties with whom we and our franchisees contract to provide credit card processing. We also maintain important internal company data, such as personally identifiable information about our employees and franchisees and information relating to our operations. Our use of personally identifiable information is regulated by foreign, federal and state laws, as well as by certain third-party agreements. As privacy and information security laws and regulations and contractual obligations with third parties evolve, we may incur additional costs to ensure that we remain in compliance with those laws and regulations and contractual obligations. If our security and information systems are compromised or if we, our employees or franchisees fail to comply with these laws, regulations, or contract terms, and this information is obtained by unauthorized persons or used inappropriately, it could adversely affect our reputation and could disrupt our operations and result in costly litigation, judgments, or penalties arising from violations of federal and state laws and payment card industry regulations.
Under certain laws, regulations and contractual obligations, a cyber incident could also require us to notify customers, employees or other groups of the incident or could result in adverse publicity, loss of sales and profits or an increase in fees payable to third parties. We could also incur penalties or remediation and other costs that could adversely affect the operation of our business, which in turn may materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
If we fail to successfully implement our growth strategy, which includes new store development by existing and new franchisees, our ability to increase our revenues and operating profits could be adversely affected.
Our growth strategy relies in large part upon new store development by existing and new franchisees. Our franchisees face many challenges in opening new stores, including:
 
availability and cost of financing;
selection and availability of suitable store locations;
competition for store sites;
negotiation of acceptable lease and financing terms;
securing required domestic or foreign governmental permits and approvals;
health and fitness trends in new geographic regions and acceptance of our offerings;
employment, training and retention of qualified employees;
ability to open new stores during the timeframes we and our franchisees expect; and
general economic and business conditions.
In particular, because the majority of our new store development is funded by franchisee investment, our growth strategy is dependent on our franchisees’ (or prospective franchisees’) ability to access funds to finance such development. If our franchisees (or prospective franchisees) are not able to obtain financing at commercially reasonable rates, or at all, they may be unwilling or unable to invest in the development of new stores, and our future growth could be adversely affected.
Our growth strategy also relies on our ability to identify, recruit and enter into agreements with a sufficient number of franchisees. In addition, our ability and the ability of our franchisees to successfully open and operate new stores in new or
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existing markets may be adversely affected by a lack of awareness or acceptance of our brand, as well as a lack of existing marketing efforts and operational execution in these new markets. To the extent that we are unable to implement effective marketing and promotional programs and foster recognition and affinity for our brand in new domestic and international markets, our and our franchisees’ new stores may not perform as expected and our growth may be significantly delayed or impaired. In addition, franchisees of new stores may have difficulty securing adequate financing, particularly in new markets where there may be a lack of adequate history and brand familiarity. New stores may not be successful or our average store membership sales may not increase at historical rates, which could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
To the extent our franchisees are unable to open new stores as we anticipate, we will not realize the revenue growth that we hope or expect. Our failure to add a significant number of new stores would adversely affect our ability to increase our revenues and operating income and could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our planned growth could place strains on our management, employees, information systems and internal controls, which may adversely impact our business.
Over the past several years, we have experienced growth in our business activities and operations, including a significant increase in the number of system-wide stores. Our past expansion has placed, and our planned future expansion may place, significant demands on our administrative, operational, financial and other resources. Any failure to manage growth effectively could seriously harm our business. To be successful, we will need to continue to implement management information systems and improve our operating, administrative, financial and accounting systems and controls. We will also need to train new employees and maintain close coordination among our executive, accounting, finance, legal, human resources, risk management, marketing, technology, sales and operations functions. These processes are time-consuming and expensive, increase management responsibilities and divert management attention, and we may not realize a return on our investment in these processes. In addition, we believe the culture we foster at our and our franchisees’ stores is an important contributor to our success. However, as we expand we may have difficulty maintaining our culture or adapting it sufficiently to meet the needs of our operations. These risks may be heightened as our growth accelerates. In 2020, our franchisees opened 125 stores, compared to 255 stores in 2019, 226 stores in 2018, and 206 stores in 2017. Our failure to successfully execute on our planned expansion of stores could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Changes in the industry could place strains on our management, employees, information systems and internal controls, which may adversely impact our business.
Changes in the industry affecting gym memberships and payment for gym memberships may place significant demands on our administrative, operational, financial and other resources or require us to obtain different or additional resources. Any failure to manage such changes effectively could adversely affect our business. To be successful, we will need to continue to implement management information systems and improve our operating, administrative, financial and accounting systems and controls in order to adapt quickly to such changes. These changes may be time-consuming and expensive, increase management responsibilities and divert management attention, and we may not realize a return on our investment in implementing these changes, which in turn could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
If we cannot retain our key employees and hire additional highly qualified employees, we may not be able to successfully manage our businesses and pursue our strategic objectives.
We are highly dependent on the services of our senior management team and other key employees at our corporate headquarters and our corporate-owned stores, and on our and our franchisees’ ability to recruit, retain and motivate key employees. Competition for such employees can be intense, and the inability to attract and retain the additional qualified employees required to expand our activities, or the loss of current key employees, could adversely affect our and our franchisees’ operating efficiency and financial condition.
Economic, political and other risks associated with our international operations could adversely affect our profitability and international growth prospects.
We currently have stores operating in certain other countries around the world, including Canada, Panama, Mexico and Australia. Our international operations are subject to a number of risks inherent to operating in foreign countries, and any expansion of our international operations will increase the impact of these risks. These risks include, among others:
inadequate brand infrastructure within foreign countries to support our international activities;
inconsistent regulation or sudden policy changes by foreign agencies or governments;
the collection of royalties from foreign franchisees;
difficulty of enforcing contractual obligations of foreign franchisees;
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increased costs in maintaining international franchise and marketing efforts;
franchisees’ difficulty in raising adequate capital;
problems entering international markets with different cultural bases and consumer preferences;
political and economic instability of foreign markets;
compliance with laws and regulations applicable to our international operations, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and regulations promulgated by the Office of Foreign Asset Control;
fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; and
operating in new, developing or other markets in which there are significant uncertainties regarding the interpretation, application and enforceability of laws and regulations relating to contract and intellectual property rights.
As a result, those new stores may be less successful than stores in our existing markets. Further, effectively managing growth can be challenging, particularly as we continue to expand into new international markets where we must balance the need for flexibility and a degree of autonomy for local management against the need for consistency with our mission and standards.
Our financial results are affected by the operating and financial results of, and our relationships with, our franchisees.
A substantial portion of our revenues come from royalties, which are generally based on a percentage of gross monthly membership dues and annual fees at our franchise stores or, in certain cases, a sliding scale based on gross monthly membership dues, other fees and commissions generated from activities associated with our franchisees, and equipment sales to our franchisees. As a result, our financial results are largely dependent upon the operational and financial results of our franchisees. As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately 130 franchisee groups operating 2,021 stores. Negative economic conditions, including recession, public health emergencies, inflation, increased unemployment levels and the effect of decreased consumer confidence or changes in consumer behavior, could materially harm our franchisees’ financial condition, which would cause our royalty and other revenues to decline and materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition as a result. In addition, if our franchisees fail to renew their franchise agreements, these revenues may decrease, which in turn could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Our franchisees could take actions that harm our business.
Our franchisees are contractually obligated to operate their stores in accordance with the operational, safety and health standards set forth in our agreements with them, including adherence to applicable laws and regulations. However, franchisees are independent third parties and their actions are outside of our control. In addition, we cannot be certain that our franchisees will have the business acumen or financial resources necessary to operate successful franchises in their approved locations, and certain state franchise laws limit our ability to terminate or not renew these franchise agreements. Our franchisees own, operate and oversee the daily operations of their stores. As a result, the ultimate success and quality of any franchise store rests with the franchisee. If franchisees do not successfully operate stores in a manner consistent with required standards and comply with local laws and regulations, franchise fees and royalties paid to us may be adversely affected, and our brand image and reputation could be harmed, which in turn could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Although we believe we generally maintain positive working relationships with our franchisees, disputes with franchisees could damage our brand image and reputation and our relationships with our franchisees generally.
We are subject to a variety of additional risks associated with our franchisees.
Our franchise business model subjects us to a number of risks, any one of which may impact our royalty revenues collected from our franchisees, may harm the goodwill associated with our brand, and may materially and adversely impact our business and results of operations.
Bankruptcy of franchisees. A franchisee bankruptcy could have a substantial negative impact on our ability to collect payments due under such franchisee’s franchise agreement(s). In a franchisee bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee may reject its franchise agreement(s), ADA(s) and/or franchisee lease/sublease pursuant to Section 365 under the U.S. bankruptcy code, in which case there would be no further royalty payments from such franchisee, and we may not ultimately recover those payments in a bankruptcy proceeding of such franchisee in connection with a damage claim resulting from such rejection.
Franchisee changes in control. Our franchises are operated by independent business owners. Although we have the right to approve franchise owners, and any transferee owners, we cannot predict in advance whether a particular franchise owner will be successful. If an individual franchise owner is unable to successfully establish, manage and operate the store, the performance and quality of service of the store could be adversely affected, which could reduce memberships and negatively affect our royalty revenues and brand image. Although our agreements prohibit “changes in control” of a franchisee without our prior
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consent as the franchisor, our form franchise agreement, and state franchise relationship laws limit our ability to withhold our consent to the transfer of a store to a new owner. In any transfer situation, the transferee may not be able to perform its obligations under its franchise agreements and successfully operate the store. In such a case the performance and quality of service of the store could be adversely affected, which could also reduce memberships and negatively affect our royalty revenues and brand image.
In addition, in the event of the death or permanent disability of a franchisee (if a natural person) or a principal of a franchisee entity, the executors and representatives of the franchisee are required to appoint an operator approved by us to manage the store. There is, however, no assurance that any such operator would be found or, if found, would be able to successfully operate its store. In the event that an acceptable operator is not found, the franchisee would be in default under its franchise agreement and, among other things, the franchise agreement and the franchisee’s right to operate the store under the franchise agreement could be terminated. If a new operator is not found or approved by us, or the new operator is not as successful in operating the store as the then-deceased franchisee or franchisee principal, the gross EFT of the store may be affected and could adversely affect our business and operating results.
Franchisee insurance. Our form franchise agreement requires each franchisee to maintain certain insurance types and levels. Losses arising from certain extraordinary hazards, however, may not be covered, and insurance may not be available (or may be available only at prohibitively expensive rates) with respect to many other risks, or franchisees may fail to procure the required insurance. Moreover, any loss incurred could exceed policy limits and policy payments made to franchisees may not be made on a timely basis. Any such loss or delay in payment could have a material adverse effect on a franchisee’s ability to satisfy its obligations under its franchise agreement or other contractual obligations, which could cause the termination of the franchisee’s franchise agreement and, in turn, may materially and adversely affect our operating and financial results.
Some of our franchisees are operating entities. Franchisees may be natural persons or legal entities. Our franchisees that are operating companies (as opposed to limited purpose entities) are subject to business, credit, financial and other risks, which may be unrelated to the operation of their stores. These unrelated risks could materially and adversely affect a franchisee that is an operating company and its ability to service its members and maintain store operations while making royalty payments, which in turn may materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
Franchise agreement termination; nonrenewal. Each franchise agreement is subject to termination by us as the franchisor in the event of a default, generally after expiration of applicable cure periods, although under certain circumstances a franchise agreement may be terminated by us upon notice without an opportunity to cure. The default provisions under the form franchise agreement are drafted broadly and include, among other things, any failure to meet operating standards and actions that may threaten our brand’s goodwill. Moreover, a franchisee may have a right to terminate its franchise agreement in certain circumstances. Our ability to terminate a franchise agreement following a default that is not cured within the applicable cure period, if any, and the ability of franchisees under certain circumstances to terminate a franchise agreement, could reduce our royalty revenue, which in turn may materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
In addition, each franchise agreement has an expiration date. Upon the expiration of a franchise agreement, we or the franchisee may, or may not, elect to renew the franchise agreement. If the franchise agreement is renewed, the franchisee will receive a “successor” franchise agreement for an additional term. Such option, however, is contingent on the franchisee’s execution of the then-current form franchise agreement (which may include increased royalty payments, advertising fees and other fees and costs), the satisfaction of certain conditions (including re-equipment and remodeling of the store and other requirements) and the payment of a successor fee. If a franchisee is unable or unwilling to satisfy any of the foregoing conditions, the expiring franchise agreement will terminate upon expiration of its term. If not renewed, a franchise agreement and the related payments will terminate. We may be unable to find a new franchisee to replace such lost revenues, which in turn may materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.
Franchisee litigation; effects of regulatory efforts. We and our franchisees are subject to a variety of litigation risks, including, but not limited to, member claims, personal injury claims, vicarious liability claims, litigation with or involving our relationship with franchisees, litigation alleging that the franchisees are our employees or that we are the co-employer of our franchisees’ employees, employee allegations against the franchisee or us of improper termination and discrimination, landlord/tenant disputes and intellectual property claims. Each of these claims may increase costs, reduce the execution of new franchise agreements and affect the scope and terms of insurance or indemnifications we and our franchisees may have. In addition, we and our franchisees are subject to various regulatory efforts to enforce employment laws, such as efforts to classify franchisors as the co-employers of their franchisees’ employees and legislation to categorize individual franchised businesses as large employers for the purposes of various employment benefits. We and our franchisees also may be subject to changes in state tax laws or enforcement of state tax laws, whereby states subject certain franchisee payments to out of state franchisors to state sales tax or other, similar taxes. These and other legislation or regulations may have a disproportionate impact on franchisors and/or franchised businesses. These changes may impose greater costs and regulatory burdens on franchising and negatively
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affect our ability to sell new franchises, which in turn may materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Franchise agreements and franchisee relationships. Our franchisees develop and operate their stores under terms set forth in our ADAs and franchise agreements, respectively. These agreements typically give rise to long-term relationships that involve a complex set of mutual obligations and mutual cooperation. We have a standard set of agreements that we typically use with our franchisees, but various franchisees have negotiated specific terms in these agreements. Furthermore, we may from time to time negotiate terms of our franchise agreements with individual franchisees or groups of franchisees (e.g., a franchisee association). We seek to have positive relationships with our franchisees, based in part on our common understanding of our mutual rights and obligations under our agreements, to enable both the franchisees’ business and our business to be successful. However, we and our franchisees may not always maintain a positive relationship or always interpret our agreements in the same way. Our failure to have positive relationships with our franchisees could individually or in the aggregate cause us to change or limit our business practices, which may make our business model less attractive to our franchisees or our members and could result in costly litigation between us and our franchisees. Finally, we have the discretion to, and may change over time, the financial and other terms of our franchise agreements and ADAs offered to new franchisees and developers. In the past, we have sought to discuss and reach accord with our franchisee association over such changes, but there is no assurance that we will be successful in such efforts in the future. If we were unsuccessful, this may lead to discord with our franchisee association that could have a detrimental effect on the growth of our business.
While our franchisee revenues are not concentrated among one or a small number of parties, the success of our franchise model depends in large part on our ability to maintain contractual relationships with franchisees in profitable stores. A typical franchise agreement has a ten-year term. Our largest franchisee group accounts for approximately 8.0% of our total stores and another large franchisee group accounts for approximately 5.1% of our total stores as of December 31, 2020. If we fail to maintain or renew our contractual relationships on acceptable terms for these or other stores, or if one or more of these large franchisees were to become insolvent or otherwise were unwilling to pay amounts due to us, our business, reputation, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
Construction and maintenance costs. Our franchisees may incur rising costs related to construction of new stores and maintenance of existing stores, which could adversely affect the attractiveness of our franchise model, and in turn our business, results of operations and financial condition. Corporate-owned stores require significant upfront and ongoing investment, including periodic remodeling and equipment replacement. If our franchisees’ costs are greater than expected, franchisees may need to outperform their operational plan to achieve their targeted return. In addition, increased costs may result in lower profits to franchisees, which may allow a franchisee to terminate its franchise agreement or make it harder for us to attract new franchisees, which in turn could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
In addition, if a franchisee is unwilling or unable to acquire the necessary financing to invest in the maintenance and upkeep of its stores, including periodic remodeling and replacement of equipment, the quality of its stores could deteriorate, which may have a negative impact on our brand image and our ability to attract and maintain members, which in turn may have a negative impact on our revenues.
Franchisee turnover. There can be no guarantee of the retention of any, including the top performing, franchisees in the future, or that we will maintain the ability to attract, retain, and motivate sufficient numbers of franchisees of the same caliber. The quality of existing franchisee operations may be diminished by factors beyond our control, including franchisees’ failure or inability to hire or retain qualified managers and other personnel. Training of managers and other personnel may be inadequate. These and other such negative factors could reduce franchise stores’ revenues, impact payments to us from franchisees under the franchise agreements and could have a material adverse effect on our revenues, which in turn may materially and adversely affect our business.
We and our franchisees could be subject to claims related to health and safety risks to members that arise while at both our corporate-owned and franchise stores.
Use of our and our franchisees’ stores poses some potential health and safety risks to members or guests through physical exertion and use of our services and facilities, including exercise and tanning equipment. Claims might be asserted against us and our franchisees for injuries or death suffered by members or guests while exercising and using the facilities at a store. We may not be able to successfully defend such claims. We also may not be able to maintain our general liability insurance on acceptable terms in the future or maintain a level of insurance that would provide adequate coverage against potential claims. Depending upon the outcome, these matters may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
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Our business is subject to various laws and regulations and changes in such laws and regulations, or failure to comply with existing or future laws and regulations, could adversely affect our business.
We are subject to the FTC Franchise Rule, which is a trade regulation imposed on franchising promulgated by the FTC that regulates the offer and sale of franchises in the United States and that requires us to provide to all prospective franchisees certain mandatory disclosure in a FDD. In addition, we are subject to state franchise registration and disclosure laws in approximately 14 states and various state business opportunity laws that regulate the offer and sale of franchises by requiring us, unless otherwise exempt, to register our franchise offering in those states prior to our making any offer or sale of a franchise in those states and to provide a FDD to prospective franchisees in accordance with such laws. We are subject to franchise disclosure laws in six provinces in Canada that regulate the offer and sale of franchises by requiring us, unless otherwise exempt, to prepare and deliver a franchise disclosure document to disclose our franchise offering in a prescribed format to prospective franchisees in accordance with such laws, and that regulate certain aspects of the franchise relationship. We are subject to similar franchise sales laws in Mexico and Australia, and may become subject to similar laws in other countries in which we may offer franchises in the future. Failure to comply with such laws may result in a franchisee’s right to rescind its franchise agreement and damages, and may result in investigations or actions from federal or state franchise authorities, civil fines or penalties, and stop orders, among other remedies. We are also subject to franchise relationship laws in approximately 20 states and in various U.S. territories that regulate many aspects of the franchise relationship including, depending upon the jurisdiction, renewals and terminations of franchise agreements, franchise transfers, the applicable law and venue in which franchise disputes must be resolved, discrimination and franchisees’ right to associate, among others. Our failure to comply with such franchise relationship laws could result in fines, damages and our inability to enforce franchise agreements where we have violated such laws. Although we believe that our FDDs, franchise sales practices and franchise activities comply with such franchise sales laws and franchise relationship laws, our non-compliance could result in liability to franchisees and regulatory authorities (as described above), inability to enforce our franchise agreements and a reduction in our anticipated royalty revenue, which in turn may materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations.
We and our franchisees are also subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, and various other laws in the United States, Canada, Panama, Mexico and Australia governing such matters as minimum-wage requirements, overtime and other working conditions. Based upon our experience with hiring employees and operating corporate-owned stores, we believe a significant number of our and our franchisees’ employees are paid at rates related to the U.S. federal or state minimum wage, and past increases in the U.S. federal and/or state minimum wage have increased labor costs, as would future increases. Any increases in labor costs might result in our and our franchisees inadequately staffing stores. Such increases in labor costs, and those that may arise due to other changes in labor laws or as a result of low unemployment rates, could affect store performance and quality of service, decrease royalty revenues and adversely affect our brand.
Our and our franchisees’ operations and properties are subject to extensive U.S., Canadian, Panamanian, Mexican and Australian, federal, international, state, provincial and local laws and regulations, including those relating to environmental, building and zoning requirements. Our and our franchisees’ development of properties depends to a significant extent on the selection and acquisition of suitable sites, which are subject to zoning, land use, environmental, traffic and other regulations and requirements. Failure to comply with these legal requirements could result in, among other things, revocation of required licenses, administrative enforcement actions, fines and civil and criminal liability, which could adversely affect our business.
We and our franchisees are responsible at stores we each operate for compliance with state, provincial and local laws that regulate the relationship between stores and their members. Many states and provinces have consumer protection regulations that may limit the collection of membership dues or fees prior to opening, require certain disclosures of pricing information, mandate the maximum length of contracts and “cooling off” periods for members (after the purchase of a membership), set escrow and bond requirements for stores, govern member rights in the event of a member relocation or disability, provide for specific member rights when a store closes or relocates, or preclude automatic membership renewals. Our or our franchisees’ failure to comply fully with these rules or requirements may subject us or our franchisees to fines, penalties, damages and civil liability, or result in membership contracts being void or voidable. In addition, states or provinces may update these laws and regulations. Any additional costs which may arise in the future as a result of changes to the legislation and regulations or in their interpretation could individually or in the aggregate cause us to change or limit our business practices, which may make our business model less attractive to our franchisees or our members.
Regulatory restrictions placed on indoor tanning services and negative opinions about the health effects of indoor tanning services could harm our reputation and our business.
Although our business model does not place an emphasis on indoor tanning, the vast majority of our corporate-owned and franchise stores offer indoor tanning services. We offer tanning services as one of many amenities available to our PF Black Card members. Many states and provinces where we and our franchisees operate have health and safety regulations that apply to health clubs and other facilities that offer indoor tanning services. In addition to regulations imposed on the indoor tanning industry, medical opinions and opinions of commentators in the general public regarding negative health effects of indoor
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tanning services could adversely impact the value of our PF Black Card memberships and our future revenues and profitability. Although the tanning industry is regulated by U.S. federal and state, and international government agencies, negative publicity regarding the potentially harmful health effects of the tanning services we offer at our stores could lead to additional legislation or further regulation of the industry. The potential increase in cost of complying with these regulations could have a negative impact on our profit margins.
The continuation of our tanning services is dependent upon the public’s sustained belief that the benefits of utilizing tanning services outweigh the risks of exposure to ultraviolet light. Any significant change in public perception of tanning equipment or any investigative or regulatory action by a government agency or other regulatory authority could impact the appeal of indoor tanning services to our PF Black Card members, and could in turn have an adverse effect on our and our franchisees’ reputation, business, results of operations and financial condition as well as our ability to profit from sales of tanning equipment to our franchisees.
In addition, from time to time, government agencies and other regulatory authorities have shown an interest in taking investigative or regulatory action with respect to tanning services. For example, we reached a settlement with the New York Office of the Attorney General (“OAG”) in November 2015 in connection with allegations that in the spring of 2013, seven of the approximately 80 independently owned and operated Planet Fitness franchise locations in New York at the time had violated certain state laws related to tanning advertising, signage, paperwork and eyewear. Upon being alerted to these alleged violations, we re-emphasized to all franchisees that they are contractually required to operate their businesses in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. The OAG’s investigation was part of a larger initiative with respect to tanning salons and other providers of tanning services and the settlement did not have a material adverse effect on us. However, similar future initiatives could influence public perception of the tanning services we offer and of the benefits of our PF Black Card membership.
Changes in legislation or requirements related to electronic fund transfer, or our failure to comply with existing or future regulations, may materially and adversely impact our business.
We primarily accept payments for our memberships through electronic fund transfers from members’ bank accounts and, therefore, we are subject to federal, state and international legislation and certification requirements governing EFT, including the Electronic Funds Transfer Act. Some states have passed or have considered legislation requiring gyms and health clubs to offer a prepaid membership option at all times and/or limit the duration for which gym memberships can auto-renew through EFT payments, if at all. Our business relies heavily on the fact that our memberships continue on a month-to-month basis after the completion of any initial term requirements, and compliance with these laws and regulations and similar requirements may be onerous and expensive. In addition, variances and inconsistencies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction may further increase the cost of compliance and doing business. States that have such health club statutes provide harsh penalties for violations, including membership contracts being void or voidable. Our failure to comply fully with these rules or requirements may subject us to fines, higher transaction fees, penalties, damages and civil liability and may result in the loss of our ability to accept EFT payments, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, any such costs, which may arise in the future as a result of changes to the legislation and regulations or in their interpretation, could individually or in the aggregate cause us to change or limit our business practice, which may make our business model less attractive to our franchisees and our and their members.
We are subject to a number of risks related to ACH, credit card, debit card, and digital payment options we accept.
We and our franchisees accept payments through ACH, credit card, debit card and digital payment transactions. For such transactions, we and our franchisees pay interchange and other fees, which may increase over time. An increase in those fees would require us to either increase the prices we charge for our memberships, which could cause us to lose members or suffer an increase in our operating expenses, either of which could harm our operating results.
If we or any of our processing vendors have problems with our billing software, or the billing software malfunctions, it could have an adverse effect on our member satisfaction and could cause one or more of the major credit card or digital payment companies to disallow our continued use of their payment products. In addition, if our billing software fails to work properly and, as a result, we and our franchisees do not automatically charge our members’ bank accounts, credit cards, debit cards or digital payment provider on a timely basis or at all, we could lose membership revenue and associated royalty revenue, which would harm our operating results.
If we fail to adequately control fraudulent ACH, credit card, debit card and digital payment transactions, we may face civil liability, diminished public perception of our security measures and significantly higher ACH, credit card, debit card and digital payment related costs, each of which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. The termination of our ability to process payments through ACH, credit card, debit card or digital payment transactions would significantly impair our ability to operate our business.
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As consumer behavior shifts to use more modern forms of payment, there may be an increased reluctance to use ACH, credit cards or debit cards for membership dues and point of sale transactions which could result in decreased revenues as consumers choose to give their business to competition with more convenient forms of payment. We may need to expand our information systems to support newer and emerging forms of payment methods, which may be time-consuming and expensive, and may not realize a return on our investment.
We are subject to risks associated with leasing property subject to long-term non-cancelable leases.
All but one of our corporate-owned stores are located on leased premises. The leases for our stores generally have initial terms of 10 years and typically provide for two renewal options in five-year increments as well as for rent escalations. Moreover, although historically we have generally not guaranteed franchisees’ lease agreements, we have done so in a few certain instances and may do so from time to time.
Generally, our leases are net leases that require us to pay our share of the costs of real estate taxes, utilities, building operating expenses, insurance and other charges in addition to rent. We generally cannot terminate these leases before the end of the initial lease term. Additional sites that we lease are likely to be subject to similar long-term, non-terminable leases. If we close a store, we nonetheless may be obligated to perform our monetary obligations under the applicable lease, including, among other things, payment of the base rent for the balance of the lease term. In addition, if we fail to negotiate renewals, either on commercially acceptable terms or at all, as each of our leases expire we could be forced to close stores in desirable locations. We depend on cash flows from operations to pay our lease expenses and to fulfill our other cash needs. If our business does not generate sufficient cash flow from operating activities, and sufficient funds are not otherwise available to us from borrowings under our securitized financing facility or other sources, we may not be able to service our lease expenses or fund our other liquidity and capital needs, which would materially affect our business.
If we and our franchisees are unable to identify and secure suitable sites for new franchise stores, our revenue growth rate and profits may be negatively impacted.
To successfully expand our business, we and our franchisees must identify and secure sites for new franchise stores and, to a lesser extent, new corporate-owned stores that meet our established criteria. In addition to finding sites with the right demographic and other measures we employ in our selection process, we also need to evaluate the penetration of our competitors in the market. We face significant competition for sites that meet our criteria, and as a result we may lose those sites, our competitors could copy our format or we could be forced to pay significantly higher prices for those sites. If we and our franchisees are unable to identify and secure sites for new stores, our revenue growth rate and profits may be negatively impacted. Additionally, if our or our franchisees’ analysis of the suitability of a store site is incorrect, we or our franchisees may not be able to recover the capital investment in developing and building the new store.
As we increase our number of stores, we and our franchisees may also open stores in higher-cost geographies, which could entail greater lease payments and construction costs, among others. The higher level of invested capital at these stores may require higher operating margins and higher net income per store to produce the level of return we or our franchisees and potential franchisees expect. Failure to provide this level of return could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Opening new stores in close proximity may negatively impact our existing stores’ revenues and profitability.
We and our franchisees currently operate stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, Panama, Mexico and Australia, and we and our franchisees plan to open many new stores in the future, some of which will be in existing markets and may be located in close proximity to stores already in those markets. Opening new stores in close proximity to existing stores may attract some memberships away from those existing stores, which may lead to diminished revenues and profitability for us and our franchisees rather than increased market share. In addition, as a result of new stores opening in existing markets and because older stores will represent an increasing proportion of our store base over time, our same store sales increases may be lower in future periods than they have been historically.
Our franchisees may incur rising costs related to construction of new stores and maintenance of existing stores, which could adversely affect the attractiveness of our franchise model, and in turn our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our stores require significant upfront and ongoing investment, including periodic remodeling and equipment replacement. If our franchisees’ costs are greater than expected, franchisees may need to outperform their operational plan to achieve their targeted return. In addition, increased costs may result in lower profits to the franchisees, which may cause them to terminate their franchise agreement or make it harder for us to attract new franchisees, which in turn could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
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In addition, if a franchisee is unwilling or unable to acquire the necessary financing to invest in the maintenance and upkeep of its stores, including periodic remodeling and replacement of equipment, the quality of its stores could deteriorate, which may have a negative impact on our brand image and our ability to attract and maintain members, which in turn may have a negative impact on our revenues.
Our dependence on a limited number of suppliers for equipment and certain products and services could result in disruptions to our business and could adversely affect our revenues and gross profit.
Equipment and certain products and services used in our stores, including our exercise equipment and point-of-sale software and hardware, are sourced from third-party suppliers. In addition, we rely on third-party suppliers to manage and maintain our websites and online join processes, and in 2020 approximately 58% of our new members joined online through our websites. Although we believe that adequate substitutes are currently available, we depend on these third-party suppliers to operate our business efficiently and consistently meet our business requirements. The ability of these third-party suppliers to successfully provide reliable and high-quality services is subject to technical and operational uncertainties that are beyond our control, including, for our overseas suppliers, vessel availability and port delays or congestion. Any disruption to our suppliers’ operations could impact our supply chain and our ability to service our existing stores and open new stores on time or at all and thereby generate revenue. If we lose such suppliers or our suppliers encounter financial hardships unrelated to the demand for our equipment or other products or services, we may not be able to identify or enter into agreements with alternative suppliers on a timely basis on acceptable terms, if at all. Transitioning to new suppliers would be time-consuming and expensive and may result in interruptions in our operations. If we should encounter delays or difficulties in securing the quantity of equipment we or our franchisees require to open new and refurbish existing stores, our suppliers encounter difficulties meeting our and our franchisees’ demands for products or services, our websites experience delays or become impaired due to errors in the third-party technology or there is a deficiency, lack or poor quality of products or services provided or there is damage to the value of one or more of our vendors’ brands, our ability to serve our members and grow our brand would be interrupted. If any of these events occurs, it could have a material adverse effect on our business and operating results.
Risks related to our indebtedness
Substantially all of the assets of certain of our subsidiaries are security under the terms of securitization transactions that were completed on August 1, 2018 and December 3, 2019.
On August 1, 2018, Planet Fitness Master Issuer LLC (the “Master Issuer”), our limited-purpose, bankruptcy-remote, indirect subsidiary, entered into a base indenture and a related supplemental indenture (collectively, the “2018 Indenture”) under which the Master Issuer issued $575 million in aggregate principal amount of Series 2018-1 4.262% Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes, Class A-2-I (the “Class A-2-I Notes”) and $625 million in aggregate principal amount of Series 2018-1 4.666% Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes, Class A-2-II (the “Class A-2-II Notes” and together with the Class A-2-I Notes, the “2018 Notes”) in an offering exempt from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. In connection with the issuance of the 2018 Notes, the Master Issuer also entered into a revolving financing facility that allows for the issuance of up to $75 million in Series 2018-1 Variable Funding Senior Notes, Class A-1 (the “Variable Funding Notes”), and certain letters of credit. On December 3, 2019, the Master Issuer issued $550 million Series 2019-1 3.858% Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes, Class A-2 (the “2019 Notes”) in an offering exempt from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. The 2019 Notes were issued under the 2018 Indenture and a related supplemental indenture dated December 3, 2019 (together, the “Indenture”). The 2018 Notes, 2019 Notes and the Variable Funding Notes are referred to collectively as the “Securitized Senior Notes.”
The Securitized Senior Notes were issued in securitization transactions pursuant to which substantially all of our revenue-generating assets in the United States are held by the Master Issuer and certain other limited-purpose, bankruptcy remote, wholly-owned direct and indirect subsidiaries of the Master Issuer that act as guarantors of the Securitized Senior Notes and that have pledged substantially all of their assets to secure the Securitized Senior Notes.
The Securitized Senior Notes are subject to a series of covenants and restrictions customary for transactions of this type, including (i) that the Master Issuer maintains specified reserve accounts to be used to make required payments in respect of the Securitized Senior Notes, (ii) provisions relating to optional and mandatory prepayments and the related payment of specified amounts, including specified make-whole payments in the case of the 2018 Notes and 2019 Notes under certain circumstances, (iii) certain indemnification payments in the event, among other things, the transfers of the assets pledged as collateral for the Securitized Senior Notes are in stated ways defective or ineffective and (iv) covenants relating to recordkeeping, access to information and similar matters. The Notes are also subject to customary rapid amortization events provided for in the Indenture, including events tied to failure to maintain a stated debt service coverage ratio, the sum of system-wide sales being below certain levels on certain measurement dates, certain manager termination events (including in certain cases a change of control of Planet Fitness Holdings, LLC), an event of default and the failure to repay or refinance the Securitized Senior Notes on the applicable anticipated repayment date. The Securitized Senior Notes are also subject to certain customary events of default, including events relating to non-payment of required interest, principal or other amounts due on or with respect to the
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Securitized Senior Notes, failure to comply with covenants within certain time frames, certain bankruptcy events, breaches of specified representations and warranties, failure of security interests to be effective and certain judgments.
In the event that a rapid amortization event occurs under the Indenture (including, without limitation, upon an event of default under the Indenture or the failure to repay the securitized debt at the end of the applicable term), the funds available to us would be reduced or eliminated, which would in turn reduce our ability to operate or grow our business. If our subsidiaries are not able to generate sufficient cash flow to service their debt obligations, they may need to refinance or restructure debt, sell assets, reduce or delay capital investments, or seek to raise additional capital. If our subsidiaries are unable to implement one or more of these alternatives, they may not be able to meet debt payment and other obligations.
The securitization imposes certain restrictions on our activities or the activities of our subsidiaries.
The Indenture and the management agreement entered into between certain of our subsidiaries and the Indenture trustee (the “Management Agreement”) contain various covenants that limit our and its subsidiaries’ ability to engage in specified types of transactions. For example, the Indenture and the Management Agreement contain covenants that, among other things, restrict, subject to certain exceptions, the ability of certain subsidiaries to:
incur or guarantee additional indebtedness;
sell certain assets;
create or incur liens on certain assets to secure indebtedness; or
consolidate, merge, sell or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of our assets.
As a result of these restrictions, we may not have adequate resources or flexibility to continue to manage the business and provide for growth of the Planet Fitness system, including product development and marketing for the Planet Fitness brand, which could have a material adverse effect on our future growth prospects, financial condition, results of operations and liquidity.
We have a significant amount of debt outstanding. Such indebtedness, along with the other contractual commitments of certain of our subsidiaries, could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, as well as the ability of certain of our subsidiaries to meet their debt payment obligations.
Under the Indenture, Master Issuer has approximately $1.7 billion of outstanding debt as of December 31, 2020. Additionally, Master Issuer has the ability to borrow amounts from time to time on a revolving basis, up to an aggregate principal amount of $75 million pursuant to the Variable Funding Notes.
This level of debt could have significant consequences on our future operations, including:
resulting in an event of default if our subsidiaries fail to comply with the financial and other restrictive covenants contained in debt agreements, which event of default could result in all of our subsidiaries’ debt becoming immediately due and payable;
reducing the availability of our cash flow to fund working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and other general corporate purposes, and limiting our ability to obtain additional financing for these purposes;
limiting the Company’s flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, and increasing its vulnerability to, changes in our business, the industry in which it operates and the general economy;
placing us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors that are less leveraged;
subjecting us to the risk of increased sensitivity to interest rate increases on indebtedness with respect to the Variable Funding Notes or the refinancing of the Securitized Senior Notes; and
increasing the possibility that we may be unable to generate cash sufficient for the Master Issuer to pay, when due, interest on and principal of the Securitized Senior Notes.
The ability to meet payment and other obligations under the debt instruments of our subsidiaries depends on our ability to generate significant cash flow in the future. This, to some extent, is subject to general economic, financial, competitive, legislative and regulatory factors, as well as other factors that are beyond our control. Our business may not generate cash flow from operations, and that future borrowings may not be available to us under existing or any future credit facilities or otherwise, in an amount sufficient to enable our subsidiaries to meet our debt payment obligations and to fund other liquidity needs. If our subsidiaries are not able to generate sufficient cash flow to service our debt obligations, we may need to refinance or restructure debt, sell assets, reduce or delay capital investments, or seek to raise additional capital. If our subsidiaries are unable to implement one or more of these alternatives, they may not be able to meet debt payment and other obligations.
In addition, the financial and other covenants we agreed to with our lenders may limit our ability to incur additional indebtedness in the future. If new debt or other liabilities are added to our current consolidated debt levels or if we fail to comply with the covenants of our existing indebtedness, the related risks that we now face could intensify.
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We will require a significant amount of cash to service our indebtedness. The ability to generate cash or refinance our indebtedness as it becomes due depends on many factors, some of which are beyond our control.
Our ability to make scheduled payments on, or to refinance our respective obligations under, our indebtedness and to fund planned capital expenditures and other corporate expenses will depend on our subsidiaries’ and our franchisees’ future operating performance and on economic, financial, competitive, legislative, regulatory and other factors. Many of these factors are beyond our control. We can provide no assurance that our business will generate sufficient cash flow from operations, that currently anticipated cost savings and operating improvements will be realized or that future borrowings will be available to us in an amount sufficient to enable us to satisfy our respective obligations under our indebtedness or to fund our other needs. In order for us to satisfy our obligations under our indebtedness and fund planned capital expenditures, we must continue to execute our business strategy. If we are unable to do so, we may need to reduce or delay our planned capital expenditures or refinance all or a portion of our indebtedness on or before maturity. Significant delays in our planned capital expenditures may materially and adversely affect our future revenue prospects. In addition, we can provide no assurance that we will be able to refinance any of our indebtedness on commercially reasonable terms or at all.
Risks related to our organizational structure
We will be required to pay certain of our existing and previous owners for certain tax benefits we may claim, and we expect that the payments we will be required to make will be substantial.
Future and certain past exchanges of Holdings Units for shares of our Class A common stock (or cash) are expected to produce and have produced favorable tax attributes for us. We are a party to two tax receivable agreements. Under the first of those agreements, we are generally required to pay to certain existing and previous equity owners of Pla-Fit Holdings, LLC (the “TRA Holders”) 85% of the applicable cash savings, if any, in U.S. federal and state income tax that we are deemed to realize as a result of certain tax attributes of their Holdings Units sold to us (or exchanged in a taxable sale) and that are created as a result of (i) the sales of their Holdings Units for shares of our Class A common stock and (ii) tax benefits attributable to payments made under the tax receivable agreement (including imputed interest). Under the second tax receivable agreement, we are generally required to pay to TSG AIV II-A L.P and TSG PF Co-Investors A L.P. (the “Direct TSG Investors”) 85% of the amount of cash savings, if any, that we are deemed to realize as a result of the tax attributes of the Holdings Units that we held in respect of the Direct TSG Investors’ prior interest in us, which resulted from the Direct TSG Investors’ purchase of interests in our 2012 acquisition (the “2012 Acquisition”) by investment funds affiliated with TSG Consumer Partners, LLC (“TSG”), and certain other tax benefits. Under both agreements, we generally retain the benefit of the remaining 15% of the applicable tax savings.
The payment obligations under the tax receivable agreements are obligations of Planet Fitness, Inc., and we expect that the payments we will be required to make under the tax receivable agreements will be substantial. In particular, assuming no further material changes in the relevant tax law and that we earn sufficient taxable income to realize all tax benefits that are subject to the tax receivable agreements, we expect that the reduction in tax payments for us associated with all past and future exchanges and sales of Holdings Units as described above would aggregate to approximately $671.0 million over the remaining term of the tax receivable agreements based on a price of $77.63 per share of our Class A common stock (the closing price per share of our Class A common stock on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) on December 31, 2020) and assuming all future sales had occurred on such date. Under such scenario, we would be required to pay the other parties to the tax receivable agreements 85% of such amount, or $570.3 million, over the applicable period under the tax receivable agreements. The actual amounts may materially differ from these hypothetical amounts, as potential future reductions in tax payments for us, and tax receivable agreement payments by us, will be calculated using the market value of our Class A common stock at the time of the sale and the prevailing tax rates applicable to us over the life of the tax receivable agreements and will be dependent on us generating sufficient future taxable income to realize the benefit. Payments under the tax receivable agreements are not conditioned on the TRA Holders’ ownership of our shares.
The actual increase in tax basis, as well as the amount and timing of any payments under these agreements, will vary depending upon a number of factors, including the timing of sales by the TRA Holders, the price of our Class A common stock at the time of the sales, whether such sales are taxable, the amount and timing of the taxable income we generate in the future, the tax rate then applicable and the portion of our payments under the tax receivable agreements constituting imputed interest. Payments under the tax receivable agreements are expected to give rise to certain additional tax benefits attributable to either further increases in basis or in the form of deductions for imputed interest (generally calculated using one-year LIBOR), depending on the tax receivable agreements and the circumstances. Any such benefits are covered by the tax receivable agreements and will increase the amounts due thereunder. The tax receivable agreements provide for interest, at a rate equal to one-year LIBOR, accrued from the due date (without extensions) of the corresponding tax return to the date of payment specified by the tax receivable agreements. In addition, under certain circumstances where we are unable to make timely payments under the tax receivable agreements, the tax receivable agreements provide for interest to accrue on unpaid payments, at a rate equal to one-year LIBOR plus 500 basis points.
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Payments under the tax receivable agreements will be based on the tax reporting positions that we determine. Although we are not aware of any issue that would cause the IRS to challenge a tax basis increase or other tax attributes subject to the tax receivable agreements, we will not be reimbursed for any payments previously made under the tax receivable agreements if such basis increases or other benefits are subsequently disallowed. As a result, in certain circumstances, payments could be made under the tax receivable agreements in excess of the benefits that we are deemed to realize in respect of the attributes to which the tax receivable agreements relate.
In certain cases, payments under the tax receivable agreements to our TRA Holders may be accelerated and/or significantly exceed the actual benefits we realize in respect of the tax attributes subject to the tax receivable agreements.
The tax receivable agreements provide that (i) in the event that we materially breach such tax receivable agreements, (ii) if, at any time, we elect an early termination of the tax receivable agreements, or (iii) upon certain mergers, asset sales, other forms of business combinations or other changes of control, our (or our successor’s) obligations under the tax receivable agreements (with respect to all Holdings Units, whether or not they have been sold before or after such transaction) would accelerate and become payable in a lump sum amount equal to the present value of the anticipated future tax benefits calculated based on certain assumptions, including that we would have sufficient taxable income to fully utilize the deductions arising from the tax deductions, tax basis and other tax attributes subject to the tax receivable agreements.
As a result of the foregoing, (i) we could be required to make payments under the tax receivable agreements that are greater than or less than the specified percentage of the actual tax savings we realize in respect of the tax attributes subject to the agreements and (ii) we may be required to make an immediate lump sum payment equal to the present value of the anticipated tax savings, which payment may be made years in advance of the actual realization of such future benefits, if any such benefits are ever realized. In these situations, our obligations under the tax receivable agreements could have a substantial negative impact on our liquidity and could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing certain mergers, asset sales, other forms of business combinations or other changes of control. We may not be able to finance our obligations under the tax receivable agreements in a manner that does not adversely affect our working capital and growth requirements. For example, if we had elected to terminate the tax receivable agreements as of December 31, 2020, based on a share price of $77.63 per share of our Class A common stock (based on the closing price of our Class A common stock on the NYSE as of December 31, 2020) and a discount rate equal to 1.3%, we estimate that we would have been required to pay $516.2 million in the aggregate under the tax receivable agreements.
We will not be reimbursed for any payments made to the TRA Holders or the Direct TSG Investors under the tax receivable agreements in the event that any tax benefits are disallowed.
If the IRS or a state or local taxing authority challenges the tax basis adjustments and/or deductions that give rise to payments under the tax receivable agreements and the tax basis adjustments and/or deductions are subsequently disallowed, the recipients of payments under the agreements will not reimburse us for any payments we previously made to them. Any such disallowance would be taken into account in determining future payments under the tax receivable agreements and would, therefore, reduce the amount of any such future payments. Nevertheless, if the claimed tax benefits from the tax basis adjustments and/or deductions are disallowed, our payments under the tax receivable agreements could exceed our actual tax savings, and we may not be able to recoup payments under the tax receivable agreements that were calculated on the assumption that the disallowed tax savings were available.
Unanticipated changes in effective tax rates or adverse outcomes resulting from examination of our income or other tax returns could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
We are subject to income taxes in the United States and Canada, and our domestic and foreign tax liabilities will be subject to the allocation of expenses in differing jurisdictions. Our future effective tax rates could be subject to volatility or adversely affected by a number of factors, including:
 
changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities;
expected timing and amount of the release of any tax valuation allowances;
tax effects of stock-based compensation;
costs related to intercompany restructurings;
changes in tax laws, regulations or interpretations thereof;
lower than anticipated future earnings in jurisdictions where we have lower statutory tax rates; or
higher than anticipated future earnings in jurisdictions where we have higher statutory tax rates.
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In addition, we may be subject to audits of our income, sales and other transaction taxes by U.S. federal and state and foreign authorities. Outcomes from these audits could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Our ability to pay taxes and expenses, including payments under the tax receivable agreements, may be limited by our structure.
Our principal asset is our ownership of Holdings Units in Pla-Fit Holdings. As such, we have no independent means of generating revenue. Pla-Fit Holdings is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes and, as such, is generally not subject to U.S. federal income tax. Instead, taxable income is allocated to holders of its Holdings Units, including us. Accordingly, we incur income taxes on our allocable share of any taxable income of Pla-Fit Holdings, and also incur expenses related to our operations. Pursuant to the limited liability company agreement of Pla-Fit Holdings that was amended and restated in connection with our initial public offering, as amended on July 1, 2017 (the “LLC Agreement”), Pla-Fit Holdings makes cash distributions to the owners of Holdings Units for purposes of funding their tax obligations in respect of the income of Pla-Fit Holdings that is allocated to them, to the extent other distributions from Pla-Fit Holdings have been insufficient. In addition to tax expenses, we also incur expenses related to our operations, including payment obligations under the tax receivable agreements, which are significant. We have caused Pla-Fit Holdings to make distributions in an amount sufficient to allow us to pay our taxes and operating expenses, including ordinary course payments due under the tax receivable agreements. However, its ability to make such distributions in the future will be subject to various limitations and restrictions, including contractual restrictions under our Indenture and Variable Funding Notes. If, as a consequence of these various limitations and restrictions, we do not have sufficient funds to pay tax or other liabilities or to fund our operations (including as a result of an acceleration of our obligations under the tax receivable agreements), we may have to borrow funds and thus our liquidity and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected. To the extent that we are unable to make payments under the tax receivable agreements for any reason, such payments will be deferred and will accrue interest at a rate equal to one-year LIBOR plus 500 basis points until paid.
In certain circumstances, Pla-Fit Holdings will be required to make distributions to us and the Continuing LLC Owners, and the distributions that Pla-Fit Holdings will be required to make may be substantial.
Funds used by Pla-Fit Holdings to satisfy its tax distribution obligations will not be available for reinvestment in our business. Moreover, the tax distributions that Pla-Fit Holdings will be required to make may be substantial and will likely exceed (as a percentage of Pla-Fit Holdings’ net income) the overall effective tax rate applicable to a similarly situated corporate taxpayer, particularly as a result of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
As a result of potential differences in the amount of net taxable income allocable to us and to the owners of Holdings Units other than Planet Fitness, Inc. (the “Continuing LLC Owners”), as well as the use of an assumed tax rate in calculating Pla-Fit Holdings’ distribution obligations, we may receive distributions significantly in excess of our tax liabilities and obligations to make payments under the tax receivable agreements. To the extent we do not distribute such cash balances as dividends on our Class A common stock and instead, for example, hold such cash balances or lend them to Pla-Fit Holdings, the Continuing LLC Owners would benefit from any value attributable to such accumulated cash balances as a result of their ownership of Class A common stock following an exchange of their Holdings Units.
Risks related to our Class A common stock
Provisions of our corporate governance documents could make an acquisition of our Company more difficult and may prevent attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management, even if beneficial to our stockholders.
Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”) contain provisions that could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us, even if doing so might be beneficial to our stockholders. These provisions include:
 
the division of our board of directors into three classes and the election of each class for three-year terms;
advance notice requirements for stockholder proposals and director nominations;
the ability of the board of directors to fill a vacancy created by the expansion of the board of directors;
the ability of our board of directors to issue new series of, and designate the terms of, preferred stock, without stockholder approval, which could be used to, among other things, institute a rights plan that would have the effect of significantly diluting the stock ownership of a potential hostile acquirer, likely preventing acquisitions that have not been approved by our board of directors;
limitations on the ability of stockholders to call special meetings and to take action by written consent; and
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the required approval of holders of at least 75% of the voting power of the outstanding shares of our capital stock to adopt, amend or repeal certain provisions of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws or remove directors for cause.
In addition, Section 203 of the DGCL may affect the ability of an “interested stockholder” to engage in certain business combinations, for a period of three years following the time that the stockholder becomes an “interested stockholder.” While we have elected in our certificate of incorporation not to be subject to Section 203 of the DGCL, our certificate of incorporation contains provisions that have the same effect as Section 203 of the DGCL and accordingly will not be subject to such restrictions.
Because our board of directors is responsible for appointing the members of our management team, these provisions could in turn affect any attempt to replace current members of our management team. As a result, you may lose your ability to sell your stock for a price in excess of the prevailing market price due to these protective measures, and efforts by stockholders to change the direction or management of the Company may be unsuccessful.
Our organizational structure, including the tax receivable agreements, confers certain benefits upon the TRA Holders and the Continuing LLC Owners that do not benefit Class A common stockholders to the same extent as it will benefit the TRA Holders and the Continuing LLC Owners.
Our organizational structure, including the tax receivable agreements, confers certain benefits upon the TRA Holders and the Continuing LLC Owners that do not benefit the holders of our Class A common stock to the same extent. The tax receivable agreement with the Direct TSG Investors also confers benefits upon the Direct TSG Investors that are not shared with other holders of Class A common stock. Although we retain 15% of the amount of tax benefits conferred under the tax receivable agreements, this and other aspects of our organizational structure may adversely impact the future trading market for the Class A common stock.
If our internal control over financial reporting or our disclosure controls and procedures are not effective, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results, prevent fraud or file our periodic reports in a timely manner, which may cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information and may lead to a decline in our stock price.
Pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as amended, our management is required to report on, and our independent registered public accounting firm is required to attest to, the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. This assessment includes disclosure of any material weakness identified by our management in our internal control over financial reporting. In addition, we are required to comply with the SEC’s rules implementing Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which requires management to certify financial and other information in our quarterly and annual reports, and we are required to disclose significant changes made in our internal controls and procedures on a quarterly basis.
If we identify a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting, we may not be able to remediate the material weaknesses identified in a timely manner or maintain all of the controls necessary to remain in compliance with our reporting obligations. If we are unable to assert that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, or if our independent registered public accounting firm is unable to express an unqualified opinion as to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting in future periods, investors may lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, the market price of our Class A common stock could be negatively affected and we could become subject to investigations by the NYSE, on which our securities are listed, the SEC or other regulatory authorities, which could require additional financial and management resources.
Our certificate of incorporation designates courts in the State of Delaware as the sole and exclusive forum for certain types of actions and proceedings that may be initiated by our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers or employees.
Our certificate of incorporation provides that, subject to limited exceptions, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for:
 
any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf;
any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers or other employees to us or our stockholders;
any action asserting a claim against us arising pursuant to any provision of the DGCL, our certificate of incorporation or our bylaws;
any action to interpret, apply, enforce or determine the validity of our certificate of incorporation or bylaws; or
any other action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine (each, a “Covered Proceeding”).
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In addition, our certificate of incorporation provides that if any action, the subject matter of which is a Covered Proceeding is filed in a court other than the specified Delaware courts without the approval of our board of directors (each, a “Foreign Action”), the claiming party will be deemed to have consented to (i) the personal jurisdiction of the specified Delaware courts in connection with any action brought in any such courts to enforce the exclusive forum provision described above and (ii) having service of process made upon such claiming party in any such enforcement action by service upon such claiming party’s counsel in the Foreign Action as agent for such claiming party.
Any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in shares of our capital stock shall be deemed to have notice of and to have consented to these provisions. These provisions may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers or other employees, which may discourage such lawsuits against us and our directors, officers and employees. Alternatively, if a court were to find these provisions of our certificate of incorporation inapplicable to, or unenforceable in respect of, one or more of the specified types of actions or proceedings, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such matters in other jurisdictions, which could adversely affect our business and financial condition.
Our stock price could be extremely volatile, and, as a result, stockholders may not be able to resell shares at or above their purchase price.
Since our initial public offering (the “IPO”) through December 31, 2020, the price of our Class A common stock, as reported by the NYSE, has ranged from a low of $13.23 on February 11, 2016 to a high of $88.77 on February 19, 2020. In addition, in recent years the stock market in general has been highly volatile. As a result, the market price and trading volume of our Class A common stock is likely to be similarly volatile, and investors in our Class A common stock may experience a decrease, which could be substantial, in the value of their stock, including decreases unrelated to our results of operations or prospects, and could lose part or all of their investment. The price of our Class A common stock could be subject to wide fluctuations in response to a number of factors, including those described elsewhere in this report and others such as:
 
variations in our operating performance and the performance of our competitors;
actual or anticipated fluctuations in our quarterly or annual operating results;
publication of research reports by securities analysts about us or our competitors or our industry;
the public’s reaction to our press releases, our other public announcements and our filings with the SEC;
our failure or the failure of our competitors to meet analysts’ projections or guidance that we or our competitors may give to the market;
additions and departures of key employees;
strategic decisions by us or our competitors, such as acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs, joint ventures, strategic investments or changes in business strategy;
the passage of legislation or other regulatory developments affecting us or our industry;
speculation in the press or investment community;
changes in accounting principles;
terrorist acts, acts of war or periods of widespread civil unrest;
natural disasters, pandemics and other calamities;
breach or improper handling of data or cybersecurity events; and
changes in general market and economic conditions.
In the past, securities class action litigation has often been initiated against companies following periods of volatility in their stock price. This type of litigation could result in substantial costs and divert our management’s attention and resources, and could also require us to make substantial payments to satisfy judgments or to settle litigation.
Because we do not currently pay any cash dividends on our Class A common stock, you may not receive any return on investment unless you sell your Class A common stock for a price greater than that which you paid for it.
We may retain future earnings, if any, for future operations, expansion and debt repayment and do not currently pay any cash dividends on our Class A common stock. Any decision to declare and pay dividends in the future will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on, among other things, our results of operations, financial condition, cash requirements, contractual restrictions and other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant. In addition, our ability to
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pay dividends may be limited by covenants of any existing and future outstanding indebtedness we or our subsidiaries incur, including our securitized financing facility. As a result, you may not receive any return on an investment in our Class A common stock unless you sell our Class A common stock for a price greater than that which you paid for it.
Financial forecasting may differ materially from actual results.
Due to the inherent difficulty of predicting future events and results, our forecasted financial and operational results may differ materially from actual results. Discrepancies between forecasted and actual results could cause a decline in the price of our stock.

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Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
None.
Item 2. Properties.
Our corporate headquarters is located in Hampton, New Hampshire and consists of approximately 71,700 sq. ft. of leased office space. It is the base of operations for our executive management and nearly all of the employees who provide our primary corporate and franchisee support functions.
Corporate-Owned Stores
We lease all but one of our corporate-owned stores. Our store leases typically have initial terms of ten years with two five-year renewal options, exercisable in our discretion. The following table lists all of our corporate-owned store counts by state or province as of December 31, 2020:
 
State/ProvinceStore Count
New York30
Pennsylvania18
New Hampshire17
New Jersey15
Colorado5
Maine4
Delaware4
California4
Massachusetts3
Ontario2
Vermont1
Franchisee Stores
Franchisees own or directly lease from a third-party each Planet Fitness franchise location. We have not historically owned or entered into leases for Planet Fitness franchise stores and generally do not guarantee franchisees’ lease agreements, although we have done so in a few certain instances and may do so from time to time. As of December 31, 2020, we had 2,021 franchisee-owned stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, Panama, Mexico and Australia.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
We are involved in various claims and legal actions that arise in the ordinary course of business. We do not believe that the ultimate resolution of these actions will have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations, liquidity and capital resources.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
None.
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PART II
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
 
Market Information for Class A Common Stock
Shares of our Class A common stock trade on the NYSE under the symbol “PLNT.”
Holders of Record
As of February 22, 2021, there were 8 stockholders of record of our Class A common stock. A substantially greater number of holders of our Class A common stock are held in “street name” and held of record by banks, brokers and other financial institutions. As of February 22, 2021 there were 10 stockholders of record of our Class B common stock. All shares of Class B common stock are owned by current or former directors and management of the Company, and there is no public market for these shares.
Dividend Policy
We do not currently pay cash dividends on our Class A common stock. The declaration, amount and payment of any future dividends on shares of our Class A common stock will be at the sole discretion of our board of directors, which may take into account general economic conditions, our financial condition and results of operations, our available cash and current and anticipated cash needs, capital requirements, contractual, legal, tax and regulatory restrictions, the implications of the payment of dividends by us to our stockholders or by our subsidiaries to us, and any other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant.
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Performance Graph
The following graph and table depict the total return to shareholders from August 6, 2015 (the date our Class A common stock began trading on the NYSE) through December 31, 2020, relative to the performance of the S&P 500 Index and the Russell 2000. We include a comparison against the Russell 2000 because there is no published industry or line-of-business index for our industry and we do not have a readily definable peer group that is publicly traded. The graph and table assume $100 invested at the closing price of $16.00 on August 6, 2015.
The performance graph and table are not intended to be indicative of future performance. The performance graph and table shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the SEC for purposes of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the Exchange Act”), or otherwise subject to the liabilities under that Section, and shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any of the Company’s filings under the Securities Act of 1933 or the Exchange Act. 

plnt-20201231_g2.jpg
 August 6, 2015December 31, 2015December 31, 2016December 31, 2017December 31, 2018December 31, 2019December 31, 2020
Planet Fitness, Inc.$100.00 $97.69 $125.63 $216.44 $335.13 $466.75 $485.19 
S&P 500 Index100.00 98.10 107.45 128.32 120.32 155.06 180.27 
Russell 2000 (Total Return) Index100.00 93.42 111.62 126.29 110.91 137.23 162.43 
Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities
There were no unregistered sales of equity securities during the year ended December 31, 2020.
In connection with our IPO, we and the Continuing LLC Owners entered into an exchange agreement under which they (or certain permitted transferees) have the right, from time to time and subject to the terms of the exchange agreement, to exchange their Holdings Units, together with a corresponding number of shares of Class B common stock, for shares of our Class A common stock on a one-for-one basis, subject to customary conversion rate adjustments for stock splits, stock dividends, reclassifications and other similar transactions. As a Continuing LLC Owner exchanges Holdings Units for shares of Class A common stock, the number of Holdings Units held by Planet Fitness, Inc. is correspondingly increased as it acquires the exchanged Holdings Units, and a corresponding number of shares of Class B common stock are canceled.
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Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
The following table provides information regarding purchases of shares of our Class A common stock by us and our “affiliated purchasers” (as defined in Rule 10b-18(a)(3) under the Exchange Act) during the three months ended December 31, 2020.
 
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
PeriodTotal Number of Shares PurchasedAverage Price Paid Per ShareTotal Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or ProgramsApproximate Dollar Value of Shares that May Yet be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs
10/01/20 - 10/30/20— $— — $200,000,000
11/01/20 - 11/30/20— $— — $200,000,000
12/01/20 - 12/31/20— $— — $200,000,000
Total— $— — $200,000,000

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Item 6. Selected Financial Data.
 
The following tables set forth our selected historical consolidated financial and other data for the periods indicated. The selected historical consolidated financial data as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, and for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this report.
The selected historical consolidated financial data set forth below as of December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 and for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements not included in this report.
Subsequent to the IPO and the related recapitalization transactions, the Company is a holding company whose principal asset is a controlling equity interest in Pla-Fit Holdings. As the sole managing member of Pla-Fit Holdings, the Company operates and controls all of the business and affairs of Pla-Fit Holdings, and, through Pla-Fit Holdings, conducts its business. As a result, the Company consolidates Pla-Fit Holdings’ financial results and reports a non-controlling interest related to the Holdings Units not owned by the Company. Such consolidation has been reflected for all periods presented. Our selected historical consolidated financial data does not reflect what our financial position, results of operations and cash flows would have been had we been a separate, stand-alone public company during those periods.
Our selected historical consolidated financial data may not be indicative of our future results of operations or future cash flows.
You should read the information set forth below in conjunction with our historical consolidated financial statements and the notes to those statements, “Item 1A. – Risk Factors,” and “Item 7. – Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included elsewhere in this Form 10-K.

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 Years ended December 31,
(in thousands, except per share data)20202019201820172016
Consolidated statements of operations data:     
Revenue:     
Franchise revenue$162,159 $223,139 $175,314 $131,983 $97,374 
Commission income696 4,288 6,632 18,172 19,114 
National advertising revenue43,301 50,155 42,194 — — 
Franchise segment206,156 277,582 224,140 150,155 116,488 
Corporate-owned stores segment117,142 159,697 138,599 112,114 104,721 
Equipment segment83,320 251,524 210,159 167,673 157,032 
Total revenue406,618 688,803 572,898 429,942 378,241 
Operating costs and expenses:
Cost of revenue70,955 194,449 162,646 129,266 122,317 
Store operations87,797 86,108 75,005 60,657 60,121 
Selling, general and administrative68,585 78,818 72,446 60,369 50,008 
National advertising expenses61,255 50,153 42,619 — — 
Depreciation and amortization53,832 44,346 35,260 31,761 31,502 
Other loss (gain) 4,434 1,846 878 353 (1,369)
Total operating costs and expenses346,858 455,720 388,854 282,406 262,579 
Income from operations59,760 233,083 184,044 147,536 115,662 
Other income (expense), net:
Interest expense, net(1)
(79,180)(53,799)(46,065)(35,283)(27,125)
Other income (expense), net(2)
4,903 (6,107)(6,175)316,928 1,371 
Total other income (expense), net(74,277)(59,906)(52,240)281,645 (25,754)
Income (loss) before income taxes(14,517)173,177 131,804 429,181 89,908 
Provision for income taxes(3)
687 37,764 28,642 373,580 18,661 
Net income (loss)(15,204)135,413 103,162 55,601 71,247 
Less net income (loss) attributable to non-controlling interests(213)17,718 15,141 22,455 49,747 
Net income (loss) attributable to Planet Fitness, Inc.$(14,991)$117,695 $88,021 $33,146 $21,500 
Net income (loss) per share of Class A common stock:
Basic$(0.19)$1.42 $1.01 $0.42 $0.50 
Diluted$(0.19)$1.41 $1.00 $0.42 $0.50 
Cash dividends declared per Class A common share$— $— $— $— $2.78 
Consolidated statements of cash flows data:
Net cash provided by operating activities$31,138 $204,311 $184,399 $131,021 $108,817 
Net cash used in investing activities(52,278)(110,694)(86,416)(37,042)(14,694)
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities57,850 64,348 109,920 (21,703)(85,183)
Consolidated balance sheet data:
Cash and cash equivalents$439,478 $436,256 $289,431 $113,080 $40,393 
Property and equipment, net160,677 145,481 114,367 83,327 61,238 
Total assets1,849,737 1,717,190 1,353,416 1,092,465 1,001,442 
Total debt and capital lease obligations,
    excluding deferred financing costs
1,792,501 1,735,133 1,197,133 709,470 716,654 
Total stockholders’ deficit(705,673)(707,754)(382,789)(136,937)(214,755)
(1)Interest expense in 2018 and 2016 included $4.6 million and $0.6 million, respectively, for the loss on extinguishment of debt.
(2)Other income (expense) in the year ended December 31, 2017 includes a gain of $316,813, related to the remeasurement of the Company’s tax benefit arrangement liabilities pursuant to the 2017 Tax Act.
(3)Provision for income taxes in the year ended December 31, 2017 includes $334,022, related to the remeasurement of our deferred tax assets pursuant to the 2017 Tax Act.

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ITEM 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Unless the context requires otherwise, references in this report to the “Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Planet Fitness, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries.
Overview
We are one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the United States by number of members and locations, with a highly recognized national brand. Our mission is to enhance people’s lives by providing a high-quality fitness experience in a welcoming, non-intimidating environment, which we call the Judgement Free Zone, where anyone—and we mean anyone—can feel they belong. Our bright, clean stores are typically 20,000 square feet, with a large selection of high-quality, purple and yellow Planet Fitness-branded cardio, circuit- and weight-training equipment and friendly staff trainers who offer unlimited free fitness instruction to all our members in small groups through our PE@PF program. We offer this differentiated fitness experience at only $10 per month for our standard membership. This exceptional value proposition is designed to appeal to a broad population, including occasional gym users and the approximately 80% of the U.S. and Canadian populations over age 14 who are not gym members, particularly those who find the traditional fitness club setting intimidating and expensive. We and our franchisees fiercely protect Planet Fitness’ community atmosphere—a place where you do not need to be fit before joining and where progress toward achieving your fitness goals (big or small) is supported and applauded by our staff and fellow members.
As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately 13.5 million members and 2,124 stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, Panama, Mexico and Australia. Of our 2,124 stores, 2,021 are franchised and 103 are corporate-owned.
As of December 31, 2020, we had commitments to open more than 1,000 new stores under existing ADAs.
COVID-19 Impact
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic related to the COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic has caused unprecedented economic volatility and uncertainty, which has negatively impacted our recent operating results. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we proactively closed all of our stores system wide in March 2020. Our stores began reopening in early May as local guidelines allowed, and as of December 31, 2020, 1,760 of our stores were open and operating, of which 1,682 were franchisee-owned stores and 78 were corporate-owned stores. Many of these stores remain subject to local capacity restrictions as of December 31, 2020. As COVID-19 continues to impact areas in which our stores operate, certain of our stores have had to re-close or operate subject to capacity restrictions, and additional stores may have to re-close or further reduce capacity, pursuant to local guidelines. As previously announced, members will not be charged monthly membership dues or annual fees while our stores are closed and will be credited for any monthly membership dues paid for periods when our stores were closed. We have experienced and continue to expect to experience decreased new store development and remodels, as well as decreased replacement equipment sales as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and have provided our franchisees 12-month and 18-month extensions for all new store development and re-equipment investment obligations, respectively.
We continue to reopen stores as local authorities issue guidelines authorizing the reopening of fitness centers and we determine it is safe to do so. As stores reopened we have recognized franchise revenue and corporate-owned store revenue associated with any March membership dues collected prior to store closures. We continue to defer revenue for stores that have not yet reopened or which had to re-close. We may have to defer further revenue in the future for stores that are required to re-close.
The duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the extent of its impact on our business cannot be reasonably estimated at this time. We anticipate that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to negatively impact our operating results in future periods. As a result of COVID-19 we have experienced to date, and may continue to experience, a decrease in our net membership base. We previously withdrew our 2020 full-year guidance and are not providing 2021 guidance at this time due to continued uncertainty around the duration and impact of COVID-19.
We have taken the following actions to efficiently manage the business, as well as increase liquidity and financial flexibility in order to mitigate the current and anticipated future impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business:
Board of Director and Executive Compensation: In March 2020, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, President, Chief Financial and Chief Digital and Information Officers significantly reduced their base salaries, and the base salaries of other members of senior management were reduced in graduated amounts. These salaries were reinstated beginning in September. The Board of Directors suspended payment of the annual retainer to non-employee directors during the second and third quarters of 2020, and resumed payment in the fourth quarter.
Corporate-owned stores: We temporarily furloughed all employees except the store manager at each corporate-owned store location for a portion of the time period in which the stores were closed. These employees were able to continue
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receiving benefits from the Company during store closures. As of December 31, 2020, 78 of our 103 corporate-owned stores have reopened.
Corporate Office: Our corporate headquarters closed in March 2020 and reopened in June 2020, allowing employees to continue working remotely if they chose to do so. During the quarter ended September 30, 2020, we completed a reduction in force of approximately 15% of our corporate headquarters employees.
Credit Facility: We fully drew down our $75.0 million Variable Funding Notes in March to provide additional liquidity and flexibility.
Share Repurchase: We suspended share repurchases in March 2020 to preserve liquidity and flexibility.

Although we expect the COVID-19 pandemic to continue to negatively impact the Company’s operations and cash flows, based on management’s current expectations and currently available information, the Company believes current cash and cash from operations will be sufficient to meet its operating cash requirements, planned capital expenditures and interest and principal payments for at least the next twelve months.
Composition of Revenues, Expenses and Cash Flows
Revenues
We generate revenue from three primary sources:
Franchise segment revenue: Franchise segment revenue relates to services we provide to support our franchisees and includes royalty revenue, NAF revenue, franchise fees, placement revenue, other fees and commission income associated with our franchisee-owned stores. Franchise segment revenue does not include the sale of tangible products by us to our franchisees. Our franchise segment revenue comprised 51%, 40% and 39% of our total revenue for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
Corporate-owned store segment revenue: Includes monthly membership dues, enrollment fees, annual fees and prepaid fees paid by our members as well as retail sales. This source of revenue comprised 29%, 23%, and 24% of our total revenue for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. As of December 31, 2020, over 90% of our members paid their monthly dues by EFT, while the remainder prepaid annually in advance.
Equipment segment revenue: Includes equipment revenue for new U.S. franchisee-owned stores as well as replacement equipment for U.S. existing franchisee-owned stores. Franchisee-owned stores are generally required to replace their equipment every five to seven years. This source of revenue comprised 20%, 37% and 37% of our total revenue for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
See Item 7: Critical Accounting Policies and Use of Estimates for further discussion on our revenue streams and revenue recognition policies.

Expenses
We primarily incur the following expenses:
Cost of revenue: Primarily includes the direct costs associated with equipment sales to new and existing franchisee-owned stores in the U.S. and Canada as well as direct costs related to our point-of-sale system. Cost of revenue also includes the cost of retail sales at our corporate-owned stores, which is immaterial. Our cost of revenue changes primarily based on equipment sales volume.
Store operations: Includes the direct costs associated with our corporate-owned stores, primarily rent, utilities, payroll, marketing, maintenance and supplies. The components of store operations remain relatively stable for each store and change primarily based on the number of corporate-owned stores. Our statements of operations do not include, and we are not responsible for, any costs associated with operating franchisee-owned stores.
Selling, general and administrative expenses: Consists of costs associated with administrative and franchisee support functions related to our existing business as well as growth and development activities, including costs to support equipment placement and assembly services. These costs primarily consist of payroll, IT-related, marketing, legal and accounting expenses.
NAF Expense: Consists of expenses incurred on behalf of the NAF. The use of amounts received by the NAF is restricted to advertising, product development, public relations, merchandising, and administrative expenses and programs to increase sales and further enhance the public reputation of the Planet Fitness brand.
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Cash flows
We generate a significant portion of our cash flows from monthly membership dues, royalties, NAF revenue and various fees and commissions related to transactions involving our franchisee-owned stores. We oversee the membership billing process, as well as the collection of our royalties, NAF revenue and certain other fees, through our third-party hosted point-of-sale systems. We collect monthly dues from our corporate-owned store members on or around the 17th of each month, while annual fees are collected on or around the 1st day of the second month following the month in which the membership agreement was signed, provided our stores are open. Through our point-of-sale system, we oversee the processing of membership billings for franchisee-owned stores. Our royalties and certain other fees are deducted on or around the 17th of each month from these membership billings by the processor prior to the net billings being remitted to the franchisees. Our franchisees are responsible for maintaining the membership billing records and collection of member dues for their respective stores through the point-of-sale system. Our royalties are based on monthly and annual membership billings for the franchisee-owned stores without regard to the collections of those billings by our franchisees. The amount and timing of the collection of royalties and membership dues and fees at corporate-owned stores is, therefore, generally fairly predictable.
Our corporate-owned stores also historically generate strong operating margins and cash flows, as a significant portion of our costs are fixed or semi-fixed such as rent and labor.
Equipment sales to new and existing franchisee-owned stores also generate significant cash flows. Franchisees either pay in advance or provide evidence of a committed financing arrangement for such equipment.
Each of these cash flows have been negatively impacted, we believe temporarily, by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recent Transactions
On March 20, 2020, we drew down on the full $75.0 million of borrowing capacity under our Variable Funding Notes in order to increase the cash on our balance sheet during temporary store closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seasonality
Our results are subject to seasonality fluctuations in that member joins are typically higher in January as compared to other months of the year. In addition, our quarterly results may fluctuate significantly because of several factors, including the timing of store openings, timing of price increases for enrollment fees and monthly membership dues and general economic conditions.
See Note 21 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Form 10-K for our total revenues, income from operations and net income for each of the quarters during the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019.
Our Segments
We operate and manage our business in three business segments: Franchise, Corporate-owned stores and Equipment. Our Franchise segment includes operations related to our franchising business in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Panama, Mexico and Australia. Our Corporate-owned stores segment includes operations with respect to all corporate-owned stores throughout the United States and Canada. The Equipment segment includes the sale of equipment to franchisee-owned stores in the U.S. We evaluate the performance of our segments and allocate resources to them based on revenue and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, referred to as Segment EBITDA. Revenue and Segment EBITDA for all operating segments include only transactions with unaffiliated customers and do not include intersegment transactions. The tables below summarize the financial information for our segments for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018. “Corporate and other,” as it relates to Segment EBITDA, primarily includes corporate overhead costs, such as payroll and related benefit costs and professional services that are not directly attributable to any individual segment.  
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 Year Ended December 31,
 202020192018
(in thousands)   
Revenue   
Franchise segment$206,156 $277,582 $224,140 
Corporate-owned stores segment117,142 159,697 138,599 
Equipment segment83,320 251,524 210,159 
Total revenue$406,618 $688,803 $572,898 
Segment EBITDA   
Franchise segment$114,968 $192,281 $152,571 
Corporate-owned stores segment23,672 65,613 56,704 
Equipment segment13,097 59,618 47,607 
Corporate and other(33,242)(46,190)(43,753)
Total Segment EBITDA(1)
$118,495 $271,322 $213,129 
 
(1)Total Segment EBITDA is equal to EBITDA, which is a metric that is not presented in accordance with GAAP. Refer to “—Non-GAAP Financial Measures” for a definition of EBITDA and a reconciliation to net income, the most directly comparable GAAP measure.

A reconciliation of income from operations to Segment EBITDA is set forth below:
(in thousands)FranchiseCorporate-owned
stores
EquipmentCorporate and
other
Total
Year Ended December 31, 2020     
Income (loss) from operations$107,254 $(6,209)$8,049 $(49,334)$59,760 
Depreciation and amortization7,784 30,532 5,048 10,468 53,832 
Other income (expense)(70)(651)— 5,624 4,903 
Segment EBITDA(1)
$114,968 $23,672 $13,097 $(33,242)$118,495 
Year Ended December 31, 2019     
Income (loss) from operations$184,405 $39,648 $54,571 $(45,541)$233,083 
Depreciation and amortization7,886 25,515 5,044 5,901 44,346 
Other income (expense)(10)450 (6,550)(6,107)
Segment EBITDA(1)
$192,281 $65,613 $59,618 $(46,190)$271,322 
Year Ended December 31, 2018     
Income (loss) from operations$144,731 $36,996 $42,580 $(40,263)$184,044 
Depreciation and amortization7,859 20,427 5,027 1,947 35,260 
Other income (expense)(19)(719)— (5,437)(6,175)
Segment EBITDA(1)
$152,571 $56,704 $47,607 $(43,753)$213,129 
 
(1)Total Segment EBITDA is equal to EBITDA, which is a metric that is not presented in accordance with GAAP. Refer to “—Non-GAAP Financial Measures” for a definition of EBITDA and a reconciliation to net income, the most directly comparable GAAP measure.

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How We Assess the Performance of Our Business
In assessing the performance of our business, we consider a variety of performance and financial measures. The key measures for determining how our business is performing include total monthly dues and annual fees from members (which we refer to as system-wide sales), the number of new store openings, same store sales for both corporate-owned and franchisee-owned stores, average royalty fee percentages for franchisee-owned stores, monthly PF Black Card membership penetration percentage, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, Segment EBITDA, four-wall EBITDA, royalty adjusted four-wall EBITDA, Adjusted net income, and Adjusted net income per share, diluted. See “—Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below for our definition of EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, four-wall EBITDA, royalty adjusted four-wall EBITDA, Adjusted net income, and Adjusted net income per share, diluted and why we present EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, four-wall EBITDA, royalty-adjusted four-wall EBITDA, Adjusted net income, and Adjusted net income per share, diluted, and for a reconciliation of our EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, and Adjusted net income to net income, the most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP, and a reconciliation of adjusted net income per share, diluted to net income per share, diluted, the most directly comparable financial measure calculated in accordance with GAAP.
Total monthly dues and annual fees from members (system-wide sales)
We review the total amount of dues we collect from our members on a monthly basis, which allows us to assess changes in the performance of our corporate-owned and franchisee-owned stores from period to period, any competitive pressures, local or regional membership traffic patterns and general market conditions that might impact our store performance. System-wide sales is an operating measure that includes sales by franchisees that are not revenue realized by the Company in accordance with GAAP, as well as sales by the Company’s corporate-owned stores. While the Company does not record sales by franchisees as revenue, and such sales are not included in the Company’s consolidated financial statements, the Company believes that this operating measure aids in understanding how the Company derives its royalty revenue and is important in evaluating its performance. Provided our stores are open, we collect monthly dues on or around the 17th of every month and collect annual fees once per year from each member based upon when the member signed his or her membership agreement. System-wide sales were $2.4 billion, $3.2 billion and $2.8 billion, during the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.
Number of new store openings
The number of new store openings reflects stores opened during a particular reporting period for both corporate-owned and franchisee-owned stores. Opening new stores is an important part of our growth strategy and we expect the majority of our future new stores will be franchisee-owned. Before we obtain the certificate of occupancy or report any revenue for new corporate-owned stores, we incur pre-opening costs, such as rent expense, labor expense and other operating expenses. Some of our stores open with an initial start-up period of higher than normal marketing and operating expenses, particularly as a percentage of monthly revenue. New stores may not be profitable and their revenue may not follow historical patterns. The following table shows the growth in our corporate-owned and franchisee-owned store base for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018:
 Year Ended December 31,
 202020192018
Franchisee-owned stores:   
Stores operated at beginning of period1,903 1,666 1,456 
New stores opened125 255 226 
Stores debranded, sold or consolidated(1)
(7)(18)(16)
Stores operated at end of period2,021 1,903 1,666 
Corporate-owned stores:
Stores operated at beginning of period98 76 62 
New stores opened
Stores acquired from franchisees— 16 10 
Stores operated at end of period103 98 76 
Total stores:
Stores operated at beginning of period2,001 1,742 1,518 
New stores opened130 261 230 
Stores debranded, sold or consolidated(1)
(7)(2)(6)
Stores operated at end of period2,124 2,001 1,742 
 
(1)The term “debranded” refers to a franchisee-owned store whose right to use the Planet Fitness brand and marks has been terminated in accordance with the franchise agreement. We retain the right to prevent debranded stores from continuing to operate as fitness centers.
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The term “consolidated” refers to the combination of a franchisee’s store with another store located in close proximity with our prior approval. This often coincides with an enlargement, re-equipment and/or refurbishment of the remaining store.
(2)The “stores operated” includes stores that have closed temporarily related to the COVID-19 pandemic. All stores were closed in March 2020 in response to COVID-19, and as of December 31, 2020, 1,760 were re-opened and operating, of which 1,682 were franchisee-owned stores and 78 were corporate-owned stores.

Same store sales
Same store sales refers to year-over-year sales comparisons for the same store sales base of both corporate-owned and franchisee-owned stores. We define the same store sales base to include those stores that have been open and for which monthly membership dues have been billed for longer than 12 months. We measure same store sales based solely upon monthly dues billed to members of our corporate-owned and franchisee-owned stores.
Several factors affect our same store sales in any given period, including the following:
the number of stores that have been in operation for more than 12 months;
the percentage mix and pricing of PF Black Card and standard memberships in any period;
growth in total net memberships per store;
consumer recognition of our brand and our ability to respond to changing consumer preferences;
overall economic trends, particularly those related to consumer spending;
our and our franchisees’ ability to operate stores effectively and efficiently to meet consumer expectations;
marketing and promotional efforts;
local competition;
trade area dynamics; and
opening of new stores in the vicinity of existing locations.
Consistent with common industry practice, we present same store sales as compared to the same period in the prior year for all stores that have been open and for which monthly membership dues have been billed for longer than 12 months, beginning with the thirteenth month and thereafter, as applicable. Same store sales of our international stores are calculated on a constant currency basis, meaning that we translate the current year’s same store sales of our international stores at the same exchange rates used in the prior year. Since opening new stores will be a significant component of our revenue growth, same store sales is only one measure of how we evaluate our performance.
Stores acquired from or sold to franchisees are removed from the franchisee-owned or corporate-owned same store sales base, as applicable, upon the ownership change and for the twelve months following the date of the ownership change. These stores are included in the corporate-owned or franchisee-owned same store sales base, as applicable, following the twelfth month after the acquisition or sale. These stores remain in the system-wide same store sales base in all periods.
We report same store sales for a given period as long as more than 50% of the stores in our same store sales base were open for every month in the period. All of our stores were closed for a portion of the year ended December 31, 2020 due to COVID-19. Because none of our stores in the same store sales base billed monthly membership dues in all of the months included in the year ended December 31, 2020, we are not providing same store sales comparisons (“NC”) for that period.
The following table shows our same store sales for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018: 
 Year Ended December 31,
 202020192018
Same store sales growth:   
Franchisee-owned storesNC9.0 %10.4 %
Corporate-owned storesNC6.1 %6.5 %
System-wide storesNC8.8 %10.2 %
Number of stores in same store sales base:
Franchisee-owned stores1,621 1,390 
Corporate-owned stores76 62 
Total stores1,711 1,462 
 
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Net member growth per store
Net member growth per store refers to the net change in total members in relation to total stores over time. We capture all membership changes daily through our point-of-sale system. We monitor a combination of membership growth, average members per store, average monthly EFT and transfers from or to an individual store location. We seek to make it simple for members to join, whether online, through our mobile application or in-store, and, while some memberships require a cancellation fee, we offer, and require our franchisees to offer, a non-committal membership option. This approach to memberships is part of our commitment to appeal to new and occasional gym users. As a result, we do not rely upon membership attrition as an operating metric in assessing our performance. We primarily attribute our membership growth to the continued net member growth in existing stores as well as the growth of our system-wide store base.
Average royalty fee percentages for the franchisee-owned stores
The average royalty fee percentage represents royalties collected by us from our franchisees as a percentage of the monthly membership dues and annual fees that are billed by the franchisees to their member base. We have varying royalty fee structures with our franchisee base, ranging from a tiered monthly fee to a royalty of 7.0% of total monthly EFT and annual membership fees across our franchisee base. Our royalty fee in the U.S. and Canada has increased over time to a current rate of 7.0% and 6.59%, respectively, for new franchisees.
PF Black Card penetration percentage
Our PF Black Card penetration percentage represents the number of our members that have opted to enroll in our PF Black Card membership program as a percentage of our total active membership base. PF Black Card members pay higher monthly membership dues than our standard membership and receive additional benefits for these additional fees. These benefits include access to all of our stores system-wide, guest privileges and access to exclusive areas in our stores that provide amenities such as water massage beds, massage chairs, tanning equipment and more. We view PF Black Card penetration percentage as a critical metric in assessing the performance and growth of our business.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
We refer to EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, four-wall EBITDA and royalty adjusted four-wall EBITDA as we use these measures to evaluate our operating performance and we believe these measures are useful to investors in evaluating our performance. EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, four-wall EBITDA and royalty adjusted four-wall EBITDA as presented in this Form 10-K are supplemental measures of our performance that are neither required by, nor presented in accordance with GAAP. EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, four-wall EBITDA and royalty adjusted four-wall EBITDA should not be considered as substitutes for GAAP metrics such as net income or any other performance measures derived in accordance with GAAP. Also, in the future we may incur expenses or charges such as those added back to calculate Adjusted EBITDA. Our presentation of EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, four-wall EBITDA and royalty adjusted four-wall EBITDA should not be construed as an inference that our future results will be unaffected by unusual or nonrecurring items. We have also disclosed Segment EBITDA as an important financial metric utilized by the Company to evaluate performance and allocate resources to segments in accordance with ASC 280, Segment Reporting. As part of such disclosure in “Our Segments” within Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, the Company has provided a reconciliation from income from operations to Total Segment EBITDA, which is equal to the Non-GAAP financial metric EBITDA.
We define EBITDA as net income before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. We believe that EBITDA, which eliminates the impact of certain expenses that we do not believe reflect our underlying business performance, provides useful information to investors to assess the performance of our segments as well as the business as a whole. Our Board of Directors also uses EBITDA as a key metric to assess the performance of management. We define Adjusted EBITDA as EBITDA, adjusted for the impact of certain additional non-cash and other items that we do not consider in our evaluation of ongoing performance of the Company’s core operations. These items include certain purchase accounting adjustments, transaction fees, stock offering-related costs, severance expense, pre-opening costs and certain other charges and gains. We believe that Adjusted EBITDA is an appropriate measure of operating performance in addition to EBITDA because it eliminates the impact of other items that we believe reduce the comparability of our underlying core business performance from period to period and is therefore useful to our investors in comparing the core performance of our business from period to period. Four-wall EBITDA is an assessment of our average corporate-owned store-level profitability for stores included in the same-store-sales base, which includes local and national advertising expense and adjusts for certain administrative and other items that we do not consider in our evaluation of individual store-level performance. Royalty adjusted four-wall EBITDA then applies the current royalty rate. Accordingly, we believe that Royalty adjusted four-wall EBITDA is comparable to a franchise store under our current franchise agreement and is useful to investors to assess the operating performance of an average store in our system. Management also uses such metrics in assessing store-level operating performance over time.
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A reconciliation of net income to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA is set forth below for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018:  
 Year Ended December 31,
 202020192018
(in thousands)   
Net income$(15,204)$135,413 $103,162 
Interest income
(2,937)(7,053)(4,681)
Interest expense(1)
82,117 60,852 50,746 
Provision for income taxes687 37,764 28,642 
Depreciation and amortization53,832 44,346 35,260 
EBITDA118,495 271,322 213,129 
Purchase accounting adjustments-revenue(2)
279 768 1,019 
Purchase accounting adjustments-rent(3)
490 470 732 
Loss on reacquired franchise rights(4)
— 1,810 360 
Transaction fees(5)
— — 307 
Severance costs(6)
981 — 352 
Pre-opening costs(7)
1,520 1,793 1,461 
Legal matters(8)
5,810 — — 
Indemnification receivable(9)
— — 342 
Tax benefit arrangement remeasurement(10)
(5,949)5,966 4,765 
Other(11)
(1,265)48 733 
Adjusted EBITDA$120,361 $282,177 $223,200 
(1)Includes $4.6 million of loss on extinguishment of debt in the year ended December 31, 2018.
(2)Represents the impact of revenue-related purchase accounting adjustments associated with the 2012 Acquisition. At the time of the 2012 Acquisition, the Company maintained a deferred revenue account, which consisted of deferred area development agreement fees, deferred franchise fees, and deferred enrollment fees that the Company billed and collected up front but recognizes for GAAP purposes at a later date. In connection with the 2012 Acquisition, it was determined that the carrying amount of deferred revenue was greater than the fair value assessed in accordance with ASC 805—Business Combinations, which resulted in a write-down of the carrying value of the deferred revenue balance upon application of acquisition push-down accounting under ASC 805. For the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, these amounts represent the additional revenue that would have been recognized in those years if the write-down to deferred revenue had not occurred in connection with the application of acquisition pushdown accounting.
(3)Represents the impact of rent related purchase accounting adjustments. In accordance with guidance in ASC 805 – Business Combinations, in connection with the 2012 Acquisition, the Company’s deferred rent liability was required to be written off as of the acquisition date and rent is being recorded on a straight-line basis from the acquisition date through the end of the lease term. This resulted in higher overall rent expense each period than would have otherwise been recorded had the deferred rent liability not been written off as a result of the acquisition push down accounting applied in accordance with ASC 805. Adjustments of $0.1 million, $0.2 million and $0.4 million in the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively, reflect the difference between the higher rent expense recorded in accordance with GAAP since the acquisition and the rent expense that would have been recorded had the 2012 Acquisition not occurred. Adjustments of $0.4 million, $0.3 million and $0.4 million for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively, are due to the amortization of favorable and unfavorable lease intangible assets. All of the rent related purchase accounting adjustments are adjustments to rent expense which is included in store operations on our consolidated statements of operations.
(4)Represents the impact of a non-cash loss recorded in accordance with ASC 805 - Business Combinations related to our acquisitions of franchisee-owned stores. The loss recorded under GAAP represents the difference between the fair value of the reacquired franchise rights and the contractual terms of the reacquired franchise rights and is included in other (gain) loss on our consolidated statements of operations.
(5)Represents transaction fees and expenses that could not be capitalized related to the issuance of our 2018 Notes in the year ended December 31, 2018.
(6)Represents severance expense recorded in connection with a reduction in force in 2020 and an equity award modification in 2018.
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(7)Represents costs associated with new corporate-owned stores incurred prior to the store opening, including payroll-related costs, rent and occupancy expenses, marketing and other store operating supply expenses.
(8)Represents costs associated with legal matters in which the Company is a defendant. The 2020 amount includes expense of $3.8 million related to the settlement of legal claims, and a $2.0 million reserve against an indemnification receivable related to a legal matter.
(9)Represents a receivable recorded in connection with a contractual obligation of the Company’s co-founders to indemnify the Company with respect to pre-IPO tax liabilities pursuant to the 2012 Acquisition.
(10)Represents gains and losses related to the adjustment of our tax benefit arrangements primarily due to changes in our effective tax rate.
(11)Represents certain other charges and gains that we do not believe reflect our underlying business performance. In 2020, this amount includes $1.4 million gain related to an employee retention payroll tax credit received in connection with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). In 2018, this amount includes expense of $0.6 million related to the write off of certain assets that were being tested for potential use across the system.

Adjusted net income assumes all net income is attributable to Planet Fitness, Inc., which assumes the full exchange of all outstanding Holdings Units for shares of Class A common stock of Planet Fitness, Inc., adjusted for certain non-recurring items that we do not believe directly reflect our core operations. Adjusted net income per share, diluted, is calculated by dividing Adjusted net income by the total weighted-average shares of Class A common stock outstanding assuming the full exchange of all outstanding Holdings Units and corresponding Class B common stock as of the beginning of each period presented. Adjusted net income and Adjusted net income per share, diluted, are supplemental measures of operating performance that do not represent and should not be considered alternatives to net income and earnings per share, as determined by GAAP. We believe Adjusted net income and Adjusted net income per share, diluted, supplement GAAP measures and enable us to more effectively evaluate our performance period-over-period. A reconciliation of Adjusted net income to net income, the most directly comparable GAAP measure, and the computation of Adjusted net income per share, diluted, are set forth below. 
 Year Ended December 31,
(in thousands, except per share data)202020192018
Net income$(15,204)$135,413 $103,162 
Provision for income taxes, as reported687 37,764 28,642 
Purchase accounting adjustments-revenue(1)
279 768 1,019 
Purchase accounting adjustments-rent(2)
490 470 732 
Loss on reacquired franchise rights(3)
— 1,810 360 
Transaction fees(4)
— — 307 
Loss on extinguishment of debt(5)
— — 4,570 
Severance costs(6)
981 — 352 
Pre-opening costs(7)
1,520 1,793 1,461 
Legal matters(8)
5,810 — — 
Indemnification receivable(9)
— — 342 
Tax benefit arrangement remeasurement(10)
(5,949)5,966 4,765 
Other(11)
(1,265)48 733 
Purchase accounting amortization(12)
16,846 16,318 15,716 
Adjusted income before income taxes$4,195 $200,350 $162,161 
Adjusted income taxes(13)
1,116 53,694 42,648 
Adjusted net income$3,079 $146,656 $119,513 
Adjusted net income per share, diluted$0.04 $1.59 $1.22 
Adjusted weighted-average shares outstanding, diluted(14)
87,166 92,358 97,950 
 
(1)Represents the impact of revenue-related purchase accounting adjustments associated with the 2012 Acquisition. At the time of the 2012 Acquisition, the Company maintained a deferred revenue account, which consisted of deferred area development agreement fees, deferred franchise fees, and deferred enrollment fees that the Company billed and collected up front but recognizes for GAAP purposes at a later date. In connection with the 2012 Acquisition, it was determined that the carrying amount of deferred revenue was greater than the fair value assessed in accordance with ASC 805—Business Combinations, which resulted in a write-down of the carrying value of the deferred revenue balance upon application of acquisition push-down accounting under ASC 805. For the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, these amounts represent the additional revenue that would have been recognized in those years if
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the write-down to deferred revenue had not occurred in connection with the application of acquisition pushdown accounting.
(2)Represents the impact of rent related purchase accounting adjustments. In accordance with guidance in ASC 805 – Business Combinations, in connection with the 2012 Acquisition, the Company’s deferred rent liability was required to be written off as of the acquisition date and rent is being recorded on a straight-line basis from the acquisition date through the end of the lease term. This resulted in higher overall rent expense each period than would have otherwise been recorded had the deferred rent liability not been written off as a result of the acquisition push down accounting applied in accordance with ASC 805. Adjustments of $0.1 million, $0.2 million and $0.4 million in the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively, reflect the difference between the higher rent expense recorded in accordance with GAAP since the acquisition and the rent expense that would have been recorded had the 2012 Acquisition not occurred. Adjustments of $0.4 million, $0.3 million and $0.4 million for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively, are due to the amortization of favorable and unfavorable lease intangible assets. All of the rent related purchase accounting adjustments are adjustments to rent expense which is included in store operations on our consolidated statements of operations.
(3)Represents the impact of a non-cash loss recorded in accordance with ASC 805 - Business Combinations related to our acquisition of franchisee-owned stores. The loss recorded under GAAP represents the difference between the fair value of the reacquired franchise rights and the contractual terms of the reacquired franchise rights and is included in other (gain) loss on our consolidated statements of operations.
(4)Represents transaction fees and expenses that could not be capitalized related to the issuance of our 2018 Notes in the year ended December 31, 2018.
(5)Represents a loss on extinguishment of debt related to the write-off of deferred financing costs associated with the Term Loan B which the Company repaid in August 2018.
(6)Represents severance expense recorded in connection with a reduction in force in 2020 and an equity award modification in 2018.
(7)Represents costs associated with new corporate-owned stores incurred prior to the store opening, including payroll-related costs, rent and occupancy expenses, marketing and other store operating supply expenses.
(8)Represents costs associated with legal matters in which the Company is a defendant. The 2020 amount includes expense of $3.8 million related to the settlement of legal claims, and a $2.0 million reserve against an indemnification receivable related to a legal matter.
(9)Represents a receivable recorded in connection with a contractual obligation of the Company’s co-founders to indemnify the Company with respect to pre-IPO tax liabilities pursuant to the 2012 Acquisition.
(10)Represents gains and losses related to the adjustment of our tax benefit arrangements primarily due to changes in our effective tax rate.
(11)Represents certain other charges and gains that we do not believe reflect our underlying business performance. In 2020, this amount includes $1.4 million gain related to an employee retention payroll tax credit received in connection with the CARES Act. In 2018, this amount includes expense of $0.6 million related to the write off of certain assets that were being tested for potential use across the system.
(12)Includes $12.4 million of amortization of intangible assets, other than favorable leases, for each of the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, recorded in connection with the 2012 Acquisition, and $4.5 million, $4.0 million and $3.3 million of amortization of intangible assets for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively, created in connection with historical acquisitions of franchisee-owned stores. The adjustment represents the amount of actual non-cash amortization expense recorded, in accordance with GAAP, in each period.
(13)Represents corporate income taxes at an assumed effective tax rate of 26.6%, 26.8% and 26.3% for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively, applied to adjusted income before income taxes.
(14)Assumes the full exchange of all outstanding Holdings Units and corresponding shares of Class B common stock for shares of Class A common stock of Planet Fitness, Inc.

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A reconciliation of net income (loss) per share, diluted, to Adjusted net income per share, diluted, is set forth below for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018:
 Year Ended December 31, 2020
(in thousands, except per share amounts)Net incomeWeighted Average SharesNet income per share, diluted
Net income (loss) attributable to Planet Fitness, Inc.(1)
$(14,991)80,303 $(0.19)
Assumed exchange of shares(2)
(213)6,293 
Net Income (loss)(15,204)
Adjustments to arrive at adjusted income before income taxes(3)
19,399 570 
Adjusted income before income taxes4,195 
Adjusted income taxes(4)
1,116 
Adjusted Net Income$3,079 87,166 $0.04 
 
(1)Represents net income attributable to Planet Fitness, Inc. for the year ended December 31, 2020 and the associated weighted average shares of Class A common stock outstanding (see Note 15) to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Form 10-K).
(2)Assumes the full exchange of all outstanding Holdings Units and corresponding shares of Class B common stock for shares of Class A common stock of Planet Fitness, Inc. Also assumes the addition of net income attributable to non-controlling interests corresponding with the assumed exchange of Holdings Units and shares of Class B common stock for shares of Class A common stock.
(3)Represents the total impact of all adjustments identified in the adjusted net income table above to arrive at adjusted income before income taxes, and the impact of dilutive stock options and RSUs.
(4)Represents corporate income taxes at an assumed effective tax rate of 26.6% applied to adjusted income before income taxes.
 Year Ended December 31, 2019
(in thousands, except per share amounts)Net incomeWeighted Average SharesNet income per share, diluted
Net income attributable to Planet Fitness, Inc.(1)
$117,695 83,619 $1.41 
Assumed exchange of shares(2)
17,718 8,739 
Net Income135,413 
Adjustments to arrive at adjusted income before income taxes(3)
64,937 
Adjusted income before income taxes200,350 
Adjusted income taxes(4)
53,694 
Adjusted Net Income$146,656 92,358 $1.59 
(1)Represents net income attributable to Planet Fitness, Inc. for the year ended December 31, 2019 and the associated weighted average shares of Class A common stock outstanding (see Note 15) to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Form 10-K).
(2)Assumes the full exchange of all outstanding Holdings Units and corresponding shares of Class B common stock for shares of Class A common stock of Planet Fitness, Inc. Also assumes the addition of net income attributable to non-controlling interests corresponding with the assumed exchange of Holdings Units and shares of Class B common stock for shares of Class A common stock.
(3)Represents the total impact of all adjustments identified in the adjusted net income table above to arrive at adjusted income before income taxes.
(4)Represents corporate income taxes at an assumed effective tax rate of 26.8% applied to adjusted income before income taxes.
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 Year Ended December 31, 2018
(in thousands, except per share amounts)Net incomeWeighted Average SharesNet income per share, diluted
Net income attributable to Planet Fitness, Inc.(1)
$88,021 87,675 $1.00 
Assumed exchange of shares(2)
15,141 10,275 
Net Income103,162 
Adjustments to arrive at adjusted income before income taxes(3)
58,999 
Adjusted income before income taxes162,161 
Adjusted income taxes(4)
42,648 
Adjusted Net Income$119,513 97,950 $1.22 
(1)Represents net income attributable to Planet Fitness, Inc. for the year ended December 31, 2018, and the associated weighted average shares of Class A common stock outstanding (see Note 15) to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this form 10-K).
(2)Assumes the full exchange of all outstanding Holdings Units and corresponding shares of Class B common stock for shares of Class A common stock of Planet Fitness, Inc. Also assumes the addition of net income attributable to non-controlling interests corresponding with the assumed exchange of Holdings Units and shares of Class B common stock for shares of Class A common stock.
(3)Represents the total impact of all adjustments identified in the adjusted net income table above to arrive at adjusted income before income taxes.
(4)Represents corporate income taxes at an assumed effective tax rate of 26.3% applied to adjusted income before income taxes.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our corporate-owned stores experienced extended closures and reduced membership levels. Accordingly, we are not presenting corporate-owned store four-wall and royalty adjusted four-wall EBITDA metrics for 2020 as we do not believe they are meaningful metrics indicative of the historical or anticipated future operations. The following table reconciles Corporate-owned stores segment EBITDA to four-wall EBITDA to royalty adjusted four-wall EBITDA for the year ended December 31, 2019:
 Year Ended December 31, 2019
(in thousands)RevenueEBITDAEBITDA Margin
Corporate-owned stores segment$159,697 $65,613 41.1 %
New stores(1)
(2,601)2,655 
Selling, general and administrative(2)
— 6,616 
Impact of eliminations(3)
— (3,937)