Planet Fitness stock plummets days after canceling Christian woman's membership over trans policy

A row of Cybex Arc Trainers lined up at a Planet Fitness in Spring Branch, Houston, Texas.
A row of Cybex Arc Trainers lined up at a Planet Fitness in Spring Branch, Houston, Texas. | Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Planet Fitness' stock dropped this week after the company made headlines for canceling the membership of a Christian woman in Alaska who complained that a man, who self-identifies as “queer,” was allowed in the women’s locker room.

The recent drop is not the first time the corporation’s stock has plummeted, however. 

Earlier this month, Patricia Silva shared on social media that her local Planet Fitness had revoked her membership after she took a photo of a man shaving in the women’s locker room. In the video recapping the cancelation of her gym membership, the woman claimed that a 12-year-old girl covered only by a towel was also in the locker room while the man was shaving at the sink. 

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According to CNBC, Planet Fitness’ stock dropped almost 8% Tuesday, going from a monthly high of $66.92 on March 7 to a low of $55.46. The company’s stock appears to have been in a freefall since January, however. At the beginning of January, Planet Fitness’ stock opened at $72.90, and the numbers continue to decline from January to March. 

While the controversy surrounding Planet Fitness' policy of allowing men in the women's locker rooms and vice versa if the individual identifies as trans could be one of the reasons for the drop, there might also be other contributing factors.  

As Fortune reported last month, companies like Planet Fitness did not experience an increase in traffic in January, which the outlet noted is usually one of the busiest months of the year for gyms in the United States. At the time of the report, Fortune reported that Planet Fitness was “on track for its second-worst quarterly sales growth since 2021.” 

Some analysts have suggested that the winter weather is the reason why companies like Planet Fitness are not experiencing growth in traffic, according to Fortune. 

“Attempts to raise prices may also be hurting signups,” Fortune reported. “Planet Fitness planned a temporary pause of its testing of higher prices in a small number of markets to bring back its regular, widely advertised $10-per-month promotion over January.” 

Last month, Stifel analyst Chris O’Cull suggested another reason might be that Planet Fitness was too reliant on promotional offers for growth. According to O’Cull, this temporary pause likely means Planet Fitness’ advertising campaign did not go as planned. As Fortune reported, there appears to be more investment flowing into cheaper gyms. 

In a March 14 update shared by Libs of TikTok on X, Silva thanked the Planet Fitness employees who canceled her gym membership, remarking that they “saved [her] the trip.” She then recounted her encounter with the man in the women’s locker room, which she first described in a video Libs of TikTok shared on March 11. 

According to the woman, a preteen girl wrapped a towel was inside the locker room and she seemed “freaked out” that a man was present. Silva asked the man what he was doing in a space intended only for women, and he replied that he identified as “queer.” After she told the man that he shouldn’t be in the women’s locker room, Silva returned to the gym a few days later and discovered that it had terminated her membership. 

In response to an inquiry from The Christian Post, McCall Gosselin, chief corporate affairs officer at Planet Fitness, explained that Silva had violated a company policy by taking a photo of an individual in the locker room, which led to the termination of her membership. 

“Planet Fitness is defending the man in the women’s locker room — the man with the penis rather than the child sitting in the corner with the towel wrapped around her,” Silva lamented in her video update. “So, people, I just want you to know this is weird. It’s not good. It’s rather disturbing.”

“So, I would like for you women to stand up and have a voice and stop these shenanigans,” she added. “You have authority! Use your authority.” 

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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