Since the acquisition of the assets and intellectual property of Expresso Fitness by Interactive Fitness Holdings four months ago, the executive team’s focus has been on business basics and building a stronger structure on the foundation that was the former company.
“It’s the same Expresso vision,” said Brian Button, CEO of IFH (www.ifholdings.com), who was an Expresso co-founder and its original CEO (click here to see the Nov. 13, 2009, SNEWS story about the acquisition). “It’s just better in the sense that there are small things that are better, including where it’s getting produced and what the product experience is like. But they’re all pretty subtle, it’s not like we are unveiling a brand new product.”
Part of that initiative is rolling out products based on the originals that the former Expresso Fitness had delivered plus various upgrades, including improved graphics, updated software and new courses. The brand (www.expresso.com) will be at the IHRSA show, March 10-13 in San Diego, Calif., to share the new developments -- five years after its debut there (click here to read a March 24, 2005, SNEWS brief about that debut). The booth is listed under IF Holdings.
“The main change is in just the user experience. The graphics are much prettier,” Button told SNEWS®. “It has a better look and feel, and the heads-up display is way nicer than it was on last year’s bikes.”
Manufacturing has also been moved to overseas production in Asia and the first bikes produced overseas should be arriving this month.
Also, Button noted that interest from the international market is extremely high. In answer to the demand, the company is doing a variety of programs that support non-U.S. customers, including adding international television standards to its consoles.
“We expect a huge penetration in Europe and maybe some Asian countries this year,” he added.
And for the time being, Button said the business model will continue to focus on the commercial side of the business. Dealers who worked with Expresso Fitness in its former incarnation are being worked with on a case-by-case basis when warranty issues arise.
“We do provide some support, and we’ve ramped up our capabilities to do that,” he said. “We’ve been dealing with each situation based on its merits.”
Looking ahead, Button said the company had contemplated going beyond bikes, but has decided not to deviate from its present course in the near future. For now, the emphasis will be on more developments in software.
“There is a lot of interest in doing some fantastic things in software, so our direction is going to be around what is going on in the user’s head and those elements of working out,” Button said. “We’re actually going to try to drive the core business pretty far.”