In yesterday’s post on the acquisition of the 1-2-3 FIT franchise chain (1-2-3 FIT Sold to Diversified Health), I pointed out that Fort Lauderdale-based Diversified Health & Fitness has been aggressively buying up the assets of dead, dying and severely wounded franchised fitness chains.
Two years of writing about and commiserating with the franchisees of these chains has left me both hopeful that Diversified HF is genuinely dedicated to helping these franchisees, and fearful that they’re not.
I concluded with an invitation to Diversified Health & Fitness to respond to my rather cynical musings, which they quickly did with the following statement.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your blog post. With your permission, we would like to have a sign made quoting the first line of your post* to hang above our door. Very amusing.
To be perfectly candid, yes, we have been very active in acquiring the franchise contracts of struggling franchisors. In today’s market, franchise sales have become a difficult prospect in all franchise industries, leaving many franchisors in the unenviable position of being forced to cut back on support to cover their own overhead. This leaves many otherwise innocent franchisees in the lurch with little or no support from the system into which they made a significant investment. These people deserve better.
This is where we step in. We, like the franchisees before us, make a significant investment of our own and acquire the assets and the franchise contracts of the struggling system. We use the know-how of our teams of marketing, operations, real estate, and financial experts to do everything in our power to work with the acquired franchisees to strengthen their business operations. Our motto is “your success is our success,” meaning that the better our franchisees perform, the better we will perform as a company.
Our philosophy is that, in order to be a good franchisor, we need to be a good parent. In being a good parent, we strive to provide our franchisees with the tools it takes to be successful business people. While it is unfortunate that some of our acquired franchises are in the process of winding down when we take over, we still do everything we can to resuscitate them. Though it may not be reflected on your site and others like it, we have reams of letters and e-mails from our franchisees praising our efforts.
I can assure you that there is no “role playing” when it comes to our acquisitions. All of our transactions have been at arms length and have been very thoughtfully, if not contentiously, negotiated. I believe anyone who has had the pleasure of dealing with our acquisition team can attest to that.
Lastly, we certainly do not see ourselves as donning a billowing cloak and scythe with DHF stenciled across our back. Rather, we prefer to see ourselves as the “savior,” to use your words, breathing life back into systems that have seen hard times. If we can be successful at this, we see a great opportunity when the economy rebounds as the parents of twelve fitness chains soundly planted in freshly potted soil.
I hope this gives you and your readers some insight into our business. Thank you again for this opportunity.
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* Old Fitness Franchises Never Die, They Just Get Acquired by Diversified Health & Fitness.
Graphic: Diversified Health & Fitness
Post from: Franchise Pick