Equinox Starts Franchising Blink Fitness Brand

With a goal of opening more than 300 additional gyms by 2020, Blink Holdings Inc. announced the launch of a national franchise program for its Blink Fitness brand on Monday.

Blink Fitness Franchising (BFF) intends to initially focus on opportunities to qualified candidates in target markets in Maryland, parts of New Jersey, Upstate New York, Virginia, Washington, DC, and parts of Long Island, according to a media release.

The New York City-based brand was founded by Equinox in 2011 and operates with a low-cost membership model. Currently, 50 Blink Fitness locations are open or in development in New York and New Jersey.

BFF said it is seeking franchisees with business, management and/or marketing experience. Investment groups and candidates should have a net worth of $1.5 million and $300,000 in liquid assets.

"We believe we have perfected our model and are positioned for immense growth," said Blink Fitness Executive Vice President and General Manager Todd Magazine. "Given our confidence in the concept, we are ready to expand our presence beyond the New York metropolitan area. And while we are still dedicated to growing our company-owned business, we’re looking forward to offering franchise opportunities to propel expansion across the U.S."

Site requirements for a Blink club require 14,000 to 20,000 square feet and a flexible layout with an ability to operate on multiple levels, according to its website. Urban markets require heavy foot traffic, high visibility and proximity to public transportation. Suburban markets require heavy vehicle traffic and 150 parking spaces. Locations anchored by a grocery store or big box-anchored shopping centers are preferred in suburban locations.

Blink's marketing includes the Mood Above Muscle trademarked slogan, which highlights positive emotions generated by exercise as opposed to a sole focus on physical benefits.

Blink clubs are designed to be open and bright and are painted with colors to have a positive effect on mood. The clubs play music selected to keep members energized and market their training programs as affordable.

Membership at a New York City-area club was listed on the Blink website on Monday at $15 to $25 per month before taxes, a start-up fee and an annual maintenance fee charged September 1.