SNEWS Qs, Fitness Edition: Chuck Herman, Specialty Fitness Equipment

The subject of this week's SNEWS Qs is Chuck Herman of Specialty Fitness Equipment.
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Chuck Herman

Specialty Fitness Equipment

What would you say the biggest issue facing the fitness industry is and how can we solve it?

You got to remember the fitness industry is dynamic because you have big box – the Sears and sporting goods stores – then you have guys like us who are solely specialty fitness. The biggest challenge is the education piece, making sure the consumer is getting the best information to make sound and informed purchasing decision. As our industry has grown over the years and the Internet has come up, people go online and look at reviews before they buy, but nothing can replace coming to true professional with background and knowledge.

What is your favorite thing about working in the fitness industry?

Meeting all types of people from all types of applications. I could be dealing with a doctor one day and a property manager one day or a high school football coach. You meet so many different personalities from different professions because if you look at all the different applications we serve, the ultimate thing is they’re all buying different kinds of fitness equipment. Learning about other businesses and how what we do can help their business is my favorite.

What are some of the popular selling items at your business and why do you think they are so popular?

The most popular stuff is the cardio stuff – treadmills, ellipticals and bikes. With us and our companies we want to specialize in, bringing to the market the specialty items, the niche products, like rowers and Jacob’s Ladder, things that break cookie cutter mold, is important to us.

What do you think that specialty fitness retailers need to do to remain profitable in the future?

It’s just customer service and support is number one. Unfortunately my phone is always on, kind of like a poor man’s doctor. It’s important to be answering that call, being responsive, going that extra mile to show that customer, whoever they may be, whether they bought $100 barbell or $50,000 home gym, show them attention and that service.

What makes your store different from other specialty fitness retailers out there?

The expertise and knowledge within our company. We have the passion for what we do. We truly want our customers to benefit because their success relates to our success.

--Compiled by Ana Trujillo

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