Did you hear?... Nautilus to move fitness R&D to Washington state, relocates apparel

In a move to beef up communication, cut costs, and improve product development across its brands, Nautilus has announced it will close its Louisville, Colo., fitness equipment product development arm and move staff there to corporate headquarters in Vancouver, Wash.
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In a move to beef up communication, cut costs, and improve product development across its brands, Nautilus has announced it will close its Louisville, Colo., fitness equipment product development arm and move staff there to corporate headquarters in Vancouver, Wash.

In addition, the company will move its 90-employee apparel division, formerly Pearl Izumi, to the Louisville building, which the company owns, and out of its leased Broomfield, Colo., facility, about six miles away. Nautilus acquired Pearl Izumi for $74 million in June 2005.

According to a statement, “virtually all Louisville employees will be extended relocation offers.” The release from Nautilus (NYSE: NLS) noted the closing of the Colorado fitness equipment division would add 40-50 employees to the Vancouver offices, where the company recently opened a new 500,000-square-foot building that was five times the size of its former headquarters. There are now 550 employees based in Vancouver.

The transitions are expected to be complete by March 2007.

“This transition will further enhance cross-functional partnerships between product development, marketing and industrial design groups," said Tim Hawkins, president of the fitness equipment business. "Having this group together will help to streamline processes, improve team efforts, and enhance communication."

Although Direct Focus, which became the company now called Nautilus, has been based in Washington state, the fitness equipment development division had been in Colorado since the company acquired Schwinn Fitness in 2001.

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