Costco Road Shows proving successful for specialty fitness retail - SNEWS

Costco Road Shows proving successful for specialty fitness retail

We check in with Leisure Fitness on how Costco Road Shows are helping drive business to specialty fitness.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

As the old saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them.

Two years ago, we told you about Precor and Life Fitness partnering up with specialty fitness retailers to put on several Costco Road Shows to tap a wider audience for both the brands and the retailers.

While the strategy to take specialty fitness to the big-box scene might seem counterintuitive, two years later, it’s proving successful. Typically, a road show has the retailer setting up a 10-foot-by-20-foot space in Costco for 10 days to feature a few specials on a brand’s equipment.

SNEWS checked in with retailer Leisure Fitness, which has been working with Precor and Life Fitness to host Costco Road Shows during the past two years. There have been some lessons learned throughout the experience, said Leisure Fitness Director of Sales and Marketing Andrew Leshik, but overall, it’s benefited the business, even beyond sales, with tremendous exposure and significant residual traffic back to the local stores.

“One of the first things we learned pretty quickly was that we couldn’t staff this with just our existing store staff,” Leshik said. It was just too tasking — 11.5 hours a day, for 10 days straight with 5,000 people coming through the doors every day, that’s a lot to handle. After a few shows in 2012, we decided to hire a dedicated team.”

In 2013, with the new team in place, Leisure Fitness did 22 Costco Road Shows — a total of 220 days — and in the first quarter of this year it’s been out for five events. Leisure Fitness picks Costcos that are within reasonable distance to one of its 27 locations, which then tend to see a residual bump in business for the next 30 days, Leshik said. It’s a win-win-win situation for the brand, retailer and Costco, he said.

“Costco has the pure visibility that we just can’t get — 5,000 people stepping in per day, some of our stores don’t see that in a year. On the flip side, Costco can’t provide the specialty sales reps to educate the customer. That’s where we come in.”

Leshik said the synergy is also there with a customer base that is prime to buy fitness equipment. “It’s not like we’re setting up at the dollar store. Most Costco customers go in and spend several hundred dollars per trip [they ’re saving money, but spending big] and that’s the customer we want to speak to.”

Leisure Fitness works with Precor and Leisure Fitness to offer a special discount on a few items — usually 3 or 4 cardio pieces. Costco gets a small cut of the proceeds and the specialty fitness retailer gets the rest.

The successful experience has re-enforced to Leisure Fitness officials that just like its corporate outreach — where it visits offices to conduct wellness programs — it must get out of the store and go to where the customer is.

“It’s not just for the sake of sales, but for the pure marketing," Leshik said. Getting in front of people with our experts and equipment is what’s working. Whether its an event or a big-box store where we have thousands potential customers going to one place, we want to be there.”

--David Clucas 

Related

PortlandFittestCity

Fitness retail in America’s fittest and fattest city

We all love lists … or at least, love to debate them. So when Men’s Fitness put out its "2014 Fittest and Fattest Cities" list earlier this week, we decided to check in with fitness retailers located in the cities at the very top and bottom of the list — Portland, Ore. and ...read more

SnowFallABasin

Following flat fall, early winter looks brighter for outdoor/fitness retailers

The government shutdown, slightly higher interest rates and comparisons to last year’s Sandy-related survival retail boost left outdoor retail sales flat for October, according to industry data analysts Leisure Trends Group and OIA VantagePoint. But there are early signs winter ...read more

FitBiz2013_14_CoverThumb

2013/14 SNEWS FitBiz Retailer Report: Steady as she goes

The specialty fitness retail industry held steady in 2013 — literally. In our 11th annual FitBiz Retailer Report, SNEWS tallied 311 specialty fitness storefronts with their doors open in the United States by the close of 2013, the same exact number we counted last year. Of ...read more

SamsungGearFit_Thumb

As wearable fitness trackers go mainstream, industry aims to get up to speed

Some the of world’s largest technology firms are paying a lot of attention to the business of wearable fitness trackers and its bound to be yet another evolution for the fitness equipment and specialty retail industry. The devices, typically worn like a watch, initially gained ...read more

OR_VenueSurvey

Outdoor Retailer surveys select group on show location, timing

Think Outdoor Retailer needs a new venue? Want to see the Summer Market in late June? How valuable are the regional shows to your business? Emerald Expositions, the folks that run Outdoor Retailer, are gathering opinions of the industry’s trade show scene via a survey, but only ...read more

KenjiHaroutunianPic_thumb

Kenji Haroutunian out as Outdoor Retailer show director

The face of the outdoor industry is rapidly changing. A month after Outdoor Industry Association’s change of leadership — parting ways with Frank Hugelmeyer — its trade show partner, Emerald Expositions (separate and privately held), announced a similar move to part ways with ...read more

Financials09sm.jpg

Outdoor Financials: Teva inches up sales in 3Q, notes repositioning; Jarden sees outdoor boost at specialty retail ; Lafuma’s rough 2013 and Garmin’s fitness success

Outdoor footwear brand Teva reported its sales up less than 1 percent to $17.9 million for the third-quarter 2013 on stronger direct-to-consumer sales and noted a repositioning for the brand to improve year-round sales. Overall, parent company Deckers Outdoor Corp. ...read more

CrossFitStudio

Opportunity still abound for specialty fitness to capture CrossFit sales

When it comes to CrossFit there are several realties for the specialty fitness retailer: One. It’s a trend that shows no sign of slowing down. The sport's grown to more than 4,400 gyms nationwide and consumers starting to outfit their home garages as well. Two. It’s a market ...read more

DrPaulThumb

Specialty fitness retailer sets itself apart by promoting wellness education

It seems like you can’t go a day without coming across a story about the “obesity epidemic.” And, it seems a heavier America costs money — including when it comes to medical care, gas, incremental food and clothing costs, and decreased productivity. According to Forbes ...read more