Nautilus realigns sales structure to beef up retail

With growth in both sporting goods and specialty retail arenas, The Nautilus Group has realigned its sales structure and hired an additional sales vice president.
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With growth in both sporting goods and specialty retail arenas, The Nautilus Group has realigned its sales structure and hired an additional sales vice president.

Tim Bowen, until May Precor's vice president of retail consumer sales, began July 7 at Nautilus as vice president of specialty dealer sales. Precor told SNEWS his position was eliminated in the spring when company direction determined the role needed to be combined under the vice president of marketing, Elisa Humphrey, who is now Precor's vice president of marketing and consumer sales. At Nautilus, Bowen will apply his decade of experience in the fitness industry to grow the retail specialty business.

In addition, Al Cockrill, formerly vice president of retail sales, was named "vice president of sporting goods and key accounts." He will oversee a key growth area for the company, a statement said.

"Al's experience in all channels, and his vast knowledge of the dealer channel, make him a great candidate to head up this effort," said Kevin Lamar, president of the Nautilus Health & Fitness Group, in an official statement.

In addition, a company spokesperson told SNEWS: "The retail division of the company continues to be successful. We are pursuing opportunities in addition to the specialty retailers, and it became necessary to devote someone to head up each segment. The company believes that both Cockrill and Bowen are the perfect candidates for these
positions."

Although appearing to be a shift toward sporting goods, the spokesperson said, "Our dealers remain as important, if not more important, to our business. But, in addition to that, the sporting goods business is growing, and we needed someone devoted to it."

SNEWS View: Obviously, in the last year or two—since the acquisitions of Schwinn Fitness and StairMaster primarily—the company's business has gone from nearly exclusively direct to a high percentage of retail of various types. It's no secret the company still expects the retail side to grow larger, especially as Bowflex migrates to retail and as the company approaches the end of the Bowflex patent in April 2004. It's only a smart move to take these steps to make sure the company doesn't become a dinosaur when the Bowflex's technology, and knockoffs of it, become open game. In terms of Tim Bowen heading to Nautilus: Precor's loss is Nautilus' gain.

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