Despite others in the fitness industry wringing their hands over the dipping economy and dragging sales, Charlie Hudspeth saw a goldmine that went something like the old saying, "buy low, sell high."
On Feb. 1, he opened the doors on a new specialty fitness store called G.E.T. Fitness (www.getfitness.us) in an upscale neighborhood northwest of Dallas. This way he could control his own destiny, rather than depend on commission in another store, he said, and he could keep overhead low. With employees in the 2,300-square-foot store limited to himself and his wife, Tonisha, and overhead limited to his rent, Hudspeth figures he can make a go of it as the little guy.
"My warehouse is my garage," he said. "This is as barebones as it gets."
A 10-year specialty fitness veteran, Hudspeth left Fitcorp USA -- on good terms, he adds -- and says with pride, "I didn't lose money in February. I didn't lose money in March. OK, I didn't make much money either." But the couple is so far living off what they have already done at the Highland Village store, he added.
And he espouses the glass-half-full philosophy: "Things always come back," he said. "The economy always comes around."
G.E.T., which stands for "Gyms, Ellipticals, Treadmills and more," carries Bodyguard, Body-Solid, all the Nautilus brands (including Schwinn and Bowflex), RedZone Fitness, Kettler, Polar and Spri, as well as a range of supplements from "Cooper Complete."
SNEWS® View: Hudspeth definitely has chutzpah to step into the market now, especially as others are down-sizing and higher prices due to the economy are putting a cinch on more than few. We wish him luck.