Now Reading
StretchLab Has Big Plans for Japan After Signing Master Franchise Deal

StretchLab Has Big Plans for Japan After Signing Master Franchise Deal

Stretchlab Japan
The Xponential Fitness brand has been expanding globally since 2021, and Japan could be its biggest international market yet

StretchLab is continuing to expand at breakneck speed, with the Xponential Fitness-owned assisted stretching brand signing its first master franchise agreement in Japan.

The agreement was signed with Sunpark Co. Ltd., an Osaka-based franchisor of restaurants, entertainment concepts and fitness centers. As part of the franchise agreement, Sunpark will be able to license at least 40 StretchLab studios in Japan over the next 10 years.

StretchLab was founded in 2015 and provides its members with one-on-one and group stretching classes which are performed by stretching coaches known as “flexologists.” The boutique fitness brand was acquired by Xponential in 2017 and recently celebrated the opening of its 300th studio. While most of those locations are in the U.S., the assisted stretching brand has also been expanding globally since 2021. 

Japan marks the fifth country outside the U.S. for StretchLab. The assisted stretching brand already has physical locations up and running in Australia, along with master franchise agreements signed in New Zealand, Mexico and Kuwait.

John Kersh, chief international development officer for Xponential, believes StretchLab is poised for continued global growth due in part to the worldwide acceptance of stretching as a healthy habit.

“We’re just at the beginning of our international expansion with StretchLab,” Kersh told Athletech News. “It’s exciting because stretching is a modality that people everywhere understand is valuable. Just like people understand walking and eating well are valuable, everybody has heard at some point that stretching is good for them.”

The global acceptance of stretching allows StretchLab to attract a broad range of clients spanning different age groups, fitness preferences and even socioeconomic statuses. 

“Whether they’re a fitness person, an executive or a retiree, having flexibility adds value to their lives,” Kersh said. “We think that fundamentally, stretching is a global interest.”

See Also
Brea Ballard, the new World Gym Marketing VP, smiling

As it grows, StretchLab has also undoubtedly been helped by the global franchising might of its parent company.  

Xponential has studios operating or in development in 16 countries across multiple continents through its many boutique fitness brands. In Japan alone, five Xponential brands have signed master franchise agreements. Club Pilates has multiple studios up and running already in Japan, and Kersh told ATN that those locations are performing as well as the Pilates brand’s studios in the U.S.

“Japan has a growing population of people that are participating in gyms and other fitness activities,” Kersh said. “And it’s got a really strong franchising culture and background.”

Scroll To Top