The LA Gym retail name will disappear as of this week, officially being turned into additional Busy Body Home Fitness stores by parent of both, Fitness Holdings International.
"As we look at how we're going to grow the company, it doesn't make sense to have both brands," Kenton Van Harten, president and COO of FHI, told SNEWS®.
The change means that the former LA Gym outlets, long-time Life Fitness dealers in their Southern California area, will also now carry Precor, which has been Busy Body's domain in the area. Although Van Harten said the stores will continue with their "core vendors," naming Life Fitness, Precor and Hoist, he said the company will also continue to look at its product mix. The LA Gym website as of Aug. 13 named as additional vendors True, Horizon, Vectra, LeMond and Spri.
He also said staff and stores would continue as-is with only a name change.
"It's affecting nothing," he said, "but the name on the door."
Two years ago when FHI acquired LA Gym, representatives told SNEWS® that the 17-year-old LA Gym store brand would be left alone because of its established value in the area. (Click here to read that Aug. 17, 2005, SNEWS® story, "Busy Body parent FHI nabs LA Gym, will leave brand as-is.")
It was not clear how the move may affect stores that are in close proximity.
Founded in 1986 and based in Los Angeles, FHI-owner Hancock Park (www.hpcap.com) re-entered fitness retail after it bought back 15 Busy Body locations, including eight in the Los Angeles area, that were part of that national chain's spectacular 2001 bankruptcy. Prior to that, Hancock had built the chain, before selling it, and remained one of that bankruptcy's largest creditors.