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Planet Fitness Gobbling Up Sears, Toys “R” Us Stores

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Planet Fitness is looking to assume residence at now-abandoned Sears and Toys “R” Us brick-and-mortar locations.

According to CNN, Planet Fitness said this week that it will open 225 gyms this year, some of which will be located in sites Toys “R” Us and Sears once occupied.

The gym franchise has continued to grow over the years, with over 1,800 current locations across the United States. That amounts to 60% growth compared to three years ago.

The company said it aims to have 4,000 total locations in the future.

Investors think Planet Fitness is “Amazon proof,” as the company doesn’t compete directly with the online retailer.

"You can't generate a six-pack on your couch," Cowen analyst Oliver Chen told CNN.

Commercial landlords are looking to fill space left behind by retail tenants with gyms and grocery stores. The number of gyms in shopping centers has more than doubled over the past decade to more than 14,000 last year.

"As brick-and-mortar retailers continue to close stores, landlords are looking to Planet Fitness as a key tenant to drive traffic to their centers," Planet Fitness chief executive Chris Rondeau told CNN Business. "We're evaluating all opportunities created by the fleet reductions among retailers like Sears, Toys "R" Us [and] Sports Authority."

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