Economic pressures continue on all sides with more companies tapping into layoffs to help consolidate operations or otherwise help them get leaner and pare back some costs. Most have not gotten away unscathed including Precor, Smooth, True and Johnson Health -- all of which added to their lists of former employees. In Johnson's case, the second round on Dec. 12 was another readjustment after three months as a merged company that combined Horizon, Vision and Matrix as well as the R&D staff. (Click here to see a Sept. 5, 2008, SNEWS story for details on that consolidation.) CEO and President Chris Clawson said total workforce reduction, counting layoffs, attrition, unfilled positions and the like, amounted to close to 12 percent, which eliminated duplication and triplications of some positions when the companies operated separately….
But layoffs and store closures just opened the door for others, it seems. David Silva, a former Busy Body Home Fitness veteran district manager, in late November opened OC Gym Equipment in Newport Beach, Calif., in Southern California's Orange County. The location on Jamboree is a prime, highly trafficked intersection -- that conveniently is quite close to a Busy Body store….
In other retail news: AtHome Fitness (www.athomefitness.net) in Arizona is preparing to open its new location in Gilbert, Ariz., which will make four stores for the four-year-old company owned by Greg Feeder and Bryan Dorksen. The Gilbert store will be managed by Pierre Dufresne. Spiffing up its website are now also virtual tours of the stores to, as Feeder put it, "connect with our potential customers." The tours actually allow a viewer to click on certain pieces of equipment and look at them closely….
Amber Maechler has been rehired as of mid-November as the new marketing and communications director for SportsArt Fitness. She had previously worked at the company as a marketing manager, leaving for a few months in early 2008 to work outside the industry. Also added to SportsArt's roster is Robert Marti, a former Copeland's vet, as the new Oregon sales manager for direct commercial sales. Mont Beardall has also been hired at SportsArt as its new national accounts manager for the sports and medical division…. At Smooth Fitness, new vice president of Internet sales and marketing is Keith Menear. Dennis DeGrazia is no longer with the company but can be reached at 248-760-2466….
Another positive business move by Mark Petit de Mange, president of newly formed SRS Fitness in Pennsylvania. Petit de Mange spent 36 years in the fitness industry, including working on bikes at a Schwinn bike shop as a youth (before he bought it!), at Dick's Sporting Goods and, most recently, for the last six-and-a-half years at the former Leisure Fitness in Delaware as a field operations manager. When Leisure shut its doors, it didn't take him long to open those of SRS, teaming up with with lifelong friend Mike Good as well as fellow former Leisure employees Bob Weiss, Nate Hiles and Mike Douglass. "I looked at it as another door opening," he told SNEWS®. He said he just likes to "fix stuff" and, in fact, SRS stands for "Stuff Repair Service." He can be reached at email@example.com.
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