Another change at the helm of the consumer retail division at Life Fitness has brought in somebody with expertise in store merchandising, training and business development.
Brent Hutton has replaced Tim Wild, who in August 2008 had replaced Dan Wille, who moved to England to head up the European division.
“We’re going to change the direction,” Life Fitness President John Stransky told SNEWS®. “We’re going to help our dealers managing their business.”
Hutton, although only on board at Life Fitness since September 2008 when he became director of consumer retail development, has worked with Brunswick in some capacity since about 2001, initially as a consultant with the billiards division. There he oversaw the store development of the so-called “Brunswick Pavilion” concept, while also helping retailers work on other aspects of their business, including training in inventory management, space allocation and even customer interaction.
With a long retail background, Hutton has spent time at Tandy Corp. as a vice president and Select Comfort-Sleep Number Bed where he was president.
"I have been through economic crises before, and if there is anything I've learned it is that retailers must understand the needs and wants of their customers,” Hutton told SNEWS. “We possess very granular data on the potential Life Fitness customer that can assist our partners, in getting to the folks that are most likely to buy our products into their stores.... Ultimately, I look forward to working with all of our partners and doing everything that I can to make their businesses as successful as possible."
Hutton has already begun working with the company retailers, for example, calculating the amount of square footage that should be allocated to particular categories based on ROI, Stransky said.
As a young industry, fitness has emphasized product, Stransky said. Now, “we want to talk about people’s goals and needs and make it an appealing experience to come into the store.”
Wild, meanwhile, has taken on a newly created full-time position as corporate director of indirect sourcing in the Brunswick corporate office.