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Planet BeachNo support/mis-representation

I want to share my experience as a planet beach franchisee so anyone out there considering planet beach as an investment can make an informed decision.

The entire experience was very costly and draining and all the promised support consisted of a few phone calls where franchisees we subjected to hours of the same big business babble from a highly overpaid consultant who came from the fitness/gym industry. All theory; no substance!! And certainly no national marketing!!

Problems started pretty early on. We signed on with planet beach because at the time they were promoting the contempo spa concept which at the time seem like it could be a successful business model. But during the equipment selection phase we were denied our original list of equipment and told that we could certainly include the additional spa equipment, but we would also have to have x# of pieces of tanning equipment. The reason we decided to come onboard with planet beach was because we felt that the automated day spa concept could work; but now we’re being told that we had to carry more tanning equipment than we wanted. To accommodate the extra tanning equipment required additional ac and electricity to the tune of around an extra $20k. Corporate didn’t care; it wasn’t their money being wasted. There was also a number of other instances where we could have saved $1000’s, but were denied by corporate and had to go with their preferred vendor; the whole time knowing damn well planet beach is getting a kickback.

Be very careful and don’t allow corporate to just put together your opening order or you’ll end up with way to much stuff you’ll never be able to sell. Don’t get talked into the site survey; it costs $1500 and it’s not even necessary. They end up charging you $2500 for the cad drawings that probably take 5 hours to do because they don’t vary much from drawing to drawing.

We finally opened and quickly realized we are in this pretty much on our own. The area rep was too busy running his locations to be actively involved with developing the territory or a new location. It was costing hundreds of dollars a month to service other planet beach members. We were a new location with newer and better equipment so members from other pb’s were using our location and we didn’t get a dime for it. This is a neat little benefit pb calls reciprocation. Again, corporate thinks it’s a great benefit and it can be, when it’s fair; but not when on some days a new location sees more customers from other salons then their own.

Their idea of effective marketing is giving away free services anywhere from 3 free visits to 30 days of free spa (And they proposed doing that over christmas and new year’s when everyone wants to look good and are more than willing to do it for free!) great marketing!

Then the recession hit, which resulted in even less support? You see, they still had their aggressive growth numbers to hit. That was more important than supporting existing franchisees. Unfortunately that backfired for planet beach and put allot of planet beaches out of business, like ours. So their goal of 500 stores by the end of 2010 actually resulted in more than 45 locations closing so far in 2009. Not one person ever picked up the phone to wish us good luck or see how we were doing.

Stay away! It’s a huge scam! There are a few good people at planet beach but the good they are trying to do is corrupted by the greedy, drug addict of an owner stephen smith and his overpaid, overweight pal from his days as agold’s gym franchisee.

Responses

  • Bt
    B_Tan Dec 02, 2009

    AMEN to that! And I also add that many other Franchises are the same exact way! You're not a business owner...you're a slave! Usually the only way out for the franchisee is bankrupcy and the FRANCHISE just takes the store over and resales it!

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