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RetroFitness Heading South for Expansion

COLTS NECK, NJ -- RetroFitness, the 1980s-themed club chain, has plans to expand again, this time in the South. Eric Casaburi, the CEO of RetroFitness, says the company is solidifying leases in the Atlanta area and is exploring the Charlotte, NC, market.

In March, Casaburi announced plans to tap into the Washington, DC, and Northern Virginia markets with at least 17 clubs. Initially, Casaburi said those clubs—a combination of corporate and franchisee-owned clubs—would open during the next three years but they could open as early as next year, he says.

“People think we developed New Jersey so quickly, they didn’t know what hit them, but we’re going to develop [DC and Northern Virginia] probably in 50 percent of the time with a mind-boggling speed,” Casaburi said by phone from Atlanta. “We are so stoked about it. It’s exciting.”

Most RetroFitness clubs operate in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with the rest of the clubs in Massachusetts, Delaware, Florida and Connecticut. Aside from the one club in Florida, RetroFitness—backed by Chicago-based private equity firm Lake Capital—appears to be making its way down the Atlantic coast before hitting the South and, eventually, branching out in the Midwest.

“Lake Capital really made a nice commitment to us,” Casaburi says. “They’re standing up to their end. We want to open up corporate stores, and at the push of a button, they throw us $5 million to open stores. In an environment where people are dying just to get $250,000 or $500,000, they’re pushing buttons and sending us $5 million at a clip. ”

Casaburi says his clubs experienced double-digit percentage growth last month in memberships and revenue.

RetroFitness offers a monthly rate of $19.99. Its clubs range between 10,000 and 15,000 square feet.

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