Leisure Fitness acquires Fitness Superstore - SNEWS

Leisure Fitness acquires Fitness Superstore

On the move in the East, Leisure Fitness has acquired the two Fitness Superstore outlets in the Philadelphia area, reaching 14 stores so far this year.

On the move in the East, Leisure Fitness has acquired the two Fitness Superstore outlets in the Philadelphia area, reaching 14 stores so far this year.

"It was a classic win-win," James Bond, Leisure's retail director told SNEWS®. "It was quick. It was territory we needed…. It really rounds out our Philadelphia stores."

Meanwhile, Superstore founder Joe Alter, focusing in the last few years on his Evo Fitness retail equipment brand as well as is Smooth Fitness Internet brand, will maintain distribution of his products in the stores.

"It's a natural fit," Alter said. "We weren't interested in a retail business very much anymore, and it was such a small piece of our revenue. It makes sense to partner with one of the biggest retailers in the region."

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed, although both said the two stores -- in Cherry Hill, N.J., and in King of Prussia, Penn., -- will continue to carry the Evo line. Plus, Leisure will get a feeling for the equipment brand, decide how it fits with its current product line, and expand placement of it into a selection of its other stores, Bond said.

Fitness Superstore started as a retailer in the area in 1985, but moved in 1997 into manufacturing and equipment, first through its smoothfitness.com Internet brand, then with its brick-and-mortar Evo brand in January 2002.

Alter said the Evo brand is picking up dealers, distribution and percentage, will increase its booth size at the Health & Fitness Business show in Denver in August, and will show a line of new elliptical models, including commercial product.

"We're going after that full-blown, equipment-abusive club market," he said.

The deal happened quickly, both said, with talks barely starting about 60-90 days when both heard through the grapevine that they should talk. The deal itself closed in mid-June.

The acquisition takes Leisure Fitness to 14 stores, but No. 15, which will be in Maryland, is already under construction and slated for a mid-September opening. In addition, it continues to look for real estate, and Bond said the chain plans to add "at least one more" this year.

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