Consolidation beat goes on: Fitcorp acquires Fitness HQ retail

In a deal that closed while many were already setting up or on their way to the annual fitness show in Denver, Fitcorp USA has bought Fitness Headquarters' eight retail stores.
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In a deal that closed while many were already setting up or on their way to the annual fitness show in Denver, Fitcorp USA has bought Fitness Headquarters' eight retail stores.

"In an area, it's very good to control your market," Trevor Glanger, president of Carrollton, Texas-based, Fitcorp, told SNEWS®. Declining to disclose financial details, he added that the deal "was very good for them and very good for us."

A round of talks to hammer out details -- the second time Glanger had approached Fitness HQ owner Jeff Levitt -- began about five months ago, Glanger said.

"From Dallas, I can expand like a spider web in all directions without adding additional expenses," he said, for things like administrative functions.

Fitcorp (www.fitnessinmotion.net) operates in the Dallas area under the retail names Busy Body and Fitness in Motion. On Thursday, Aug. 25, only 36 hours after the agreement was signed by both parties, Glanger already was carrying business cards that had added the Fitness HQ name, which he will keep.

The deal was only for the retail stores. Levitt will keep the commercial division, focusing on selling, and Vice President Ilan Katz will continue with that as-yet-unnamed business, focusing on business development and marketing, Katz told SNEWS®.

"We are very excited about the potential for development in the commercial business, and we are committed to growing the commercial business substantially with immediate effect," Katz said.

Although the Fitness HQ business wasn't necessarily for sale, he added, "The stores wouldn't have been sold if the price hadn't been very, very fair."

Business in Texas overall has been up and down, depending on the region, with Katz noting that for the Dallas area for them, retail business in 2003 was slow, 2004 was better and 2005 had been growing consistently. In Texas, Stan Terry operates a similar model as Glanger but in the Houston area with three dba's including Busy Body, Winston Fitness and Fitness Unlimited. Another model similar to the Fitcorp model is Scott Egbert's with various businesses with different names in Washington, Utah, Illinois and Michigan.

In Texas, Glanger said the combination of stores and the control of what he said was 85 percent of the major brands would force manufacturers to do a better job training store staff since they will in a sense be competing with each other inside one company.

For Glanger, it's also a chance to solidify a business that he expects will stay in the family once he edges closer to retirement since his son Gary, 33, is his general manager.

Meanwhile, all stores remain, as do all employees who want to keep their jobs, and Fitcorp will consider adding stores or consolidating one or two stores once it analyzes the market.

"It gives you a chance to reposition," Glanger said. "It's good for the manufacturers."

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