Following a Sept. 24 SNEWS® report on the FIT3 store, slated to open this fall in Washington D.C., we have learned of one change in the store’s supplier list, and have confirmed that FIT3 has hired a fitness industry expert to serve as a consultant.
After SNEWS ran a story Sept. 24 (click here to read ) on the coming of the new FIT3 Superstore near Washington, D.C., questions were raised about the suppliers listed and other details about the store’s plans. So SNEWS hit the pavement again.
FIT3, finalizing its location in Tysons Corner, Va., has been billed as world’s largest fitness and wellness lifestyle store.
FIT3 CEO Hal Smith had included Paramount among the store’s suppliers when SNEWS interviewed him for the Sept. 24 report, but in a follow-up interview Smith said that Paramount would not supply products for FIT3. He did not provide details on reasons for the change, and Paramount was contacted but offered no comment about the preliminary discrepancy.
Smith said that all other fitness brands mentioned in the first report—Life Fitness, BH Fitness, Horizon and Everlast—were still onboard.
Life Fitness has confirmed to SNEWS it is in as a supplier to FIT3. “We see it as complement to specialty,” said spokesman Steve Knipstein. He said Life Fitness sees FIT3 as a concept that is somewhere between sporting goods and specialty and one that falls well within its distribution parameters.
BH Fitness was contacted to confirm it was a supplier to FIT3 after industry insiders raised questions, but a company spokesman declined comment about its status.
Gordy Gronkowski, founder of G&G Fitness, told SNEWS that he is working as a consultant to the FIT3 team, showing them the ropes in the fitness industry.
“They wanted somebody who was an expert in the fitness business,” Gronkowski said. “Somebody who would take their ideas and work with them.”
Gronkowski said that FIT3 co-founder Jack Steckel called him out of the blue to inquire about his desire to help the fledgling group get up and running. Gronkowski said he knew he was interested in working with FIT3 once he saw the YouTube video of the Pro Hockey Life store founded by Steckel. (Click here to see the YouTube video )
“I was so impressed. This is what the fitness industry needs. This is perfect. This is it,” said Gronkowski, adding that he believes in the viability of the fun, interactive concept of FIT3.
Gronkowski also said that his chain, G&G Fitness (www.livefit.com), would remain a separate company.
SNEWS asked Smith to confirm the opening date of the FIT3 store—originally reported to be in October, as has been posted on its website —and Smith said that it would be in the “November time frame.” When asked how much square footage would be allocated for the stores various elements, including fitness and wellness products, Smith said that fitness equipment would occupy the greatest amount of space and would include a “dominant selection of product.”
--Therese Iknoian and Marcus Woolf