The Joint Corp. CEO Talks Rapid Growth in 2021 and His Plan to Reach 1,000 Clinic Locations
Original article published by Phoenix Business Journal, January 19, 2022 on BizJournals.com
By Andy Blye
Unlike most independent chiropractors, The Joint sets up its clinics in retail locations.
The Joint Corp., a Scottsdale based operator and franchisor of chiropractic clinics, had a big year in 2021, opening 130 new clinics across the country to bring its national count up to 706.
The Joint (Nasdaq: JYNT) also treated more patients and made more money in 2021 than it did in 2020, and its share price grew along with it, increasing by 136.96% for the year, the largest gain among Arizona’s large public companies.
The Joint reports treating 10.9 million patients last year (including 807,000 new ones), up 31% from the 8.3 million patients treated in 2020. The company made more than $32.5 million through the first three quarters of 2021.
Peter Holt, CEO of The Joint, told the Business Journal that chiropractic treatment isn’t new, but building clinics in retail locations is totally changing the way people access care and how the company finds new customers.
"If you look at the industry itself it’s been pretty flat. I mean, this is really the revolution,” he said. “Chiropractic has been around for 126 years, and where’s it been? It's been in medical buildings. It's been in offices on the second or 15th floor, nothing in retail … it's not just us going out there taking a patient from an existing doctor or [patients who] run out of insurance, we are actually building a market.”
Share price soars
Holt started his career in franchising, originally taking a job at the International Franchise Association in the late 1980s. He worked at other franchising businesses like Mail Boxes, Etc. (which was acquired by UPS in 2001) and Tasti D-Lite, a dessert chain that he ran until he joined the Joint in 2016.
The company’s share price has grown more than 1,400% since Holt joined the company in April 2016, first as COO and later that year as CEO. The company’s share price has given up some of the big gains from last year so far in January, falling about 19%. Click here to follow the stock.
Of the company’s 706 locations, 610 of them are franchised and 96 are owned by The Joint itself. Fast food restaurants, a frequently franchised business, provide help context on chain sizes; Culver’s has about 830 locations, Chick-Fil-A has about 2,770 and Wendy’s has about 6,500.
Holt and The Joint are working toward the self-imposed goal of having 1,000 locations in operation by the end of 2023, a pace that would demand opening more locations this year and next year than it did in its recording-setting year of 2021.
“I've got less than two years to make that number, so I have to have everybody laser-like focused on making sure that we get those growth rates,” he said. “I believe that we have the right team in place, we have the right concept that we are very focused on achieving our goal of 1000 units by the end of 2023. That's a huge importance of what we're doing in this coming year.”
Goal for growth
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Holt is optimistic about the Joint’s chances to continue expanding at such a blistering pace, in part because he said there is less stigma around chiropractic than there was in the past. In fact, about 45% of the Joint’s customers are millennials, and a growing share of customers are in the younger Gen Z cohort.
The Joint is by far the largest chain of chiropractic clinics in the country, with hundreds more locations than the second largest, Texas’s Airrosti, which has about 170 locations. The Joint projects there is an opportunity for at least 1,800 of its locations in the U.S.
In addition to keeping its foot on the growth gas pedal, The Joint recently deployed a new customer relationship management (CRM) platform that will be the basis for the company’s tech development going forward.
Holt said the new platform will help the company “harness the power” of its data, by eventually creating a patient portal, allowing mobile check-in for patients and then using the data to find business insights and even improve individual marketing efforts.
While the company has had little trouble adding new customers in recent years, Holt did note one other potential hangup for people unfamiliar with the chain: The name “The Joint” can be confused with cannabis companies setting up in retail locations.
About The Joint Chiropractic
The Joint Corp. revolutionized access to chiropractic care when it introduced its retail healthcare business model in 2010. Today, the company is making quality care convenient and affordable, while eliminating the need for insurance, for millions of patients seeking pain relief and ongoing wellness. With more than 700 locations nationwide and over eight million patient visits annually, The Joint Chiropractic is a key leader in the chiropractic industry. Named on Franchise Times “Top 200+ Franchises” and Entrepreneur’s “Franchise 500®” lists, The Joint Chiropractic is an innovative force, where healthcare meets retail. For more information, visit thejoint.com. For more information about franchise opportunities, visit www.thejointfranchise.com.
The Joint Corp. is a franchisor of clinics and an operator of clinics in certain states. In Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming, The Joint Corp. and its franchise owners provide management services to certain professional chiropractic practices.
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