Let’s get together: Nautilus to partner with women’s-only gym Elements Fitness

Nautilus Commercial Products will target more women with a new partnership with women’s-only gym brand.
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Nautilus Commercial Products will target more women in a new partnership with a women’s gym brand.

Med-Fit Systems, maker of Nautilus Commercial Fitness equipment, recently announced a partnership with Miami-based Elements Fitness, a women’s-only gym franchise.

The partnership presents an opportunity for Nautilus to gain brand recognition with Elements Fitness’ average of 6,000 members at its six existing clubs, and nearly 5,000 more expected to sign up for memberships at five planned clubs.

“Anytime we get the opportunity to expand our reach to a wider customer base, it is good for Nautilus,” said Regina West, spokesperson for the company. “In this case, Elements is growing internationally as well as in the United States, so it is also a good growth opportunity for us.”

The partnership, officials said, would allow for additional growth and a support network between the two companies.

“Nautilus is a great brand and they have a lot of history and a lot of respect, not only with consumers but also in terms of how they service clients and client relationships,” said Elements Fitness’ brand founder Chris Palumbo. The partnership is “a good move for us, for the franchisees and for the members, because it helps whenever you can align with a high-quality brand.”

Let’s get together
Under the new partnership, all Elements Fitness clubs will feature Nautilus commercial equipment designed for women.

Though Nautilus will not develop any brand-new equipment for the venture, it will customize existing products like the K2 Vertical Climber and the One Line for the Elements Fitness establishments.

“Women love the Nautilus One selectorized strength equipment because it is sleek, attractive, easy to use [and] untimidating,” West said. What makes it less intimidating is the easy dial weight stack mechanism, which allows ladies to adjust the weight in one-pound increments without using guide rods or weight stack pins.

Consistency is key
Perhaps consistency is why big box and fast food joints are popular wherever they are. No matter where you go, they’re very similar and customers will know their way around the aisles.

That’s precisely what Elements Fitness is striving for with the Nautilus Commercial partnership.

“We want consistency for somebody who goes into an Elements in more than one state,” Palumbo said. Elements Fitness has doors open in Florida, North Dakota, Massachusetts, Michigan and Virginia, and soon will add Arkansas, North Carolina and California.

Members are buyers, too
It’s not a stretch to say that consumers who hold a gym membership often purchase equipment and accessories for their at-home fitness needs, and according to a recent SNEWS article, women are more likely to impulse buy — even if a product is expensive — if she genuinely sees the product fitting into her lifestyle.

Gym members tend to be more health-conscious than others, Anytime Fitness’ Mark Daly told SNEWS. Many of that franchise’s members have at least one piece of cardio equipment in their homes, Daly said.

Palumbo said that though he doesn’t track whether Elements’ members have at-home equipment, they are likely to make purchases that support their goal-based fitness regimen.

“If there’s an at-home version and they like the brand, I think they’ll make a purchase,” Palumbo said.

Targeting women in general is a smart business move in what some experts are calling the “sheconomy.” Nielsen numbers show that women control about $12 trillion of the $18 trillion global buying power. Fitness is getting a good chunk of that pie, Palumbo said.

“Women’s fitness is one of the fastest-growing category sectors in the industry worldwide,” he said.

Future opportunities?
Laying the groundwork for getting women hooked on fitness isn’t the only connection Elements is hoping to make with specialty fitness retailers. In a still-lagging economy another business opportunity could lie not only in outfitting light commercial and commercial establishments, but also in franchising small gyms like Elements Fitness.

While franchising may not be in the cards for specialty fitness retailers, partnerships are a surefire way to increase visibility and add to your customer base, West said.

“Partnerships with successful brands allow us to focus our resources globally on growth and scaling and be more specific to the needs of our partners,” West said. “It’s a win-win situation for everybody.”

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