Expanding its Southeastern brand of retail, Busy Body/Gyms To Go is as of June 11 running what may be the first of several Busy Body Fitness Centers.
Carlos Vazquez, president of Pompano Beach, Fla.-based, Busy Body/Gyms To Go, told SNEWS® his company has taken over a 25,000-square-foot former Gold's Gym in Boca Raton.
"Diversity is the way to be," Vazquez said. "It's really reinforcing a standing value with customers.
"And this is only the first Busy Body Fitness Center in what we hope will become a regional chain," he added. "It's kind of exciting."
The gym will carry the identical logo as the now 16-store chain except with "fitness center" on the top where the retail logo says "fitness equipment superstore;" the gym business will also be linked on the store's website and vice-versa. That alone will create brand awareness, he explained, but it will also become a commercial showroom for Gyms To Go, will use the same service team as the store, and has allowed Vazquez's team to rehire several employees who had been laid off when the company shut down several stores in the last year to tighten ship with the economic downturn.
The gym is a half-block from the Boca Raton Gyms To Go store (www.gymstogo.com), and the promotions are already building between the two divisions. For example, retail customers will earn free seven-day passes to the club, and gym members will receive 20 percent off accessories and other gear at the stores. The small pro shop in the club will display items for sales at the store and, in addition to being a commercial showroom, Vazquez said they are looking at displaying equipment as a promotion too.
The gym "creates awareness of fitness, and you can cross-promote," he said, noting that media promotions and other marketing may also represent both.
The new Busy Body Fitness Center is a full-service, 2,600-member club with 24 treadmills, 18 Arc Trainers, a dozen recumbent bikes, a couple of Step Mills and a full selectorized line, as well as free weights, accessories, a group exercise floor with a full class schedule, plus all the amenities.
"It's a turnkey operation," he said.
SNEWS® View: What a great cross-promotional opportunity. We've always felt retailers should work more closely with gyms since the members often do need or want home equipment. Clubs and retailers shouldn't be afraid of each other since there are such huge potential synergies. This, of course, takes that relationship a step further but it should work out well. We'll bet with the current economic shake-out that the Gyms To Go team got the fitness center for a song, and it'll make it sing for them pretty well too. We'll also look forward to hearing about additions to the Busy Body gym division.