SNEWS Qs, Fitness: Woody Fisher, Treadmill Doctor

The subject of this week’s SNEWS Qs is Woody Fisher, director of national accounts for Treadmill Doctor.

Woody Fisher

Director of national accounts

Treadmill Doctor

Manufacturers, perhaps you don’t care what Treadmill Doctor thinks about your products. But consumers do, so you should check out what they’re saying, and have been saying since 1998, about your products on the company's website. SNEWS chats with Woody Fisher, director of national accounts for the treadmill parts company, on what exactly it does and why it does it.

Tell our readers who may not be familiar with Treadmill Doctor exactly what you do:

I am director of sales, marketing, public relations for a company in Memphis, Tenn., by the name of Treadmill Doctor. Treadmill Doctor is owned by two individuals — John and Clark Stevenson. They started the company in 1998, and currently we have about 3.4 million unique viewers a month at Treadmill Doctor. Google [also was founded in] 1998, and anybody as old or older than that is considered an expert because they’ve been around from the beginning of time in the Google world.

If you look at our website you can see that we basically sell a lot of parts. We also offer the consumer, because consumer is king with us, the option of looking at the reviews we’ve established since 1998 based on over 200 treadmills and 190 ellipticals. Basically we’re not looking at programmability or aesthetics, we’re just looking at nuts-and-bolts functionality and how the company warranties the product.

Does Treadmill Doctor ever work with specialty fitness retailers in any way?

We do. We sell them parts and we provide service for some of the specialty retailers.

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

It’s very simple: Embrace the Internet. Look for common ways to sell product and don't look at the Internet as the enemy. That’s a short definition of an age-old problem that most of the specialty guys are having right now. They look at the Internet as their enemy, the majority, and the ones who are embracing the Internet are seeing some very robust sales.

It seems the philosophy of the specialty dealer has been, "If I have a store and I have a good location and I advertise minimally, then they will find me and I can win them over with my expertise." The thing is people aren’t finding them. They think that the customer actually finds them and then they go to the Internet and research the product they’ve seen at their stores. But we know through Google Analytics that 87 percent of customers shopping today will research online before they ever enter a store but they fail to realize and believe it.

What are some of the biggest trends you’re noticing in treadmills over the last few years and what do you think will continue to gain momentum?

I think if you look at companies like True and Precor you’ll see innovation that makes the customer experience much better. For instance you’ll see interfacing with iPads and iPhones – mainly iPads because it’s the next big thing – and Kindle Fires and other androids. You’re seeing these guys thinking outside the box and being innovative to go to those things that the customer is actually using.

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

The people. It’s the people. I love the people in this industry. You’ve seen that with Paul [Cuevas of Fitness In Motion South Texas] and the people that have come around [at HFB]. We have a wonderful group of people. I would like to see the manufacturers start talking to each other more.

--Compiled by Ana Trujillo



SNEWS Qs, Fitness Edition: Dai Manuel, Fitness Town

Dai Manuel, COO Fitness Town Vancouver, Canada What do you think fitness retailers need to do to remain relevant and profitable in the future? Personally, I believe that retailers in the specialty channel need to be that: specialized. We need to walk the talk when it comes to more


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

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 more


SNEWS Qs, David Lyles, area manager Fitness Unlimited

David Lyles, area manager Fitness Unlimited Spring, Texas What do you think the biggest challenge facing the fitness industry is and how can we overcome it? I’ve been doing this for 14 years and the biggest challenge facing industry is Internet retailers underbidding. They sell more


SNEWS Qs: Nicholas Pugh, president and CEO of

Nicholas Pugh President and CEO What are some of your current top sellers and why do you think they’re so popular? We’re redirecting some of our focus to consulting, and are finding that a lot of people who call us are opening up small facilities – 3,000 to 5,000 more


SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition: Joseph Leal, American Cycle and Fitness

Joseph Leal, service manager American Cycle and Fitness, Grosse Pointe, Mich. What are some of the best-selling fitness items at your store right now and why do you think they’re popular? Dumbbells. In this community there are a lot of runners and walkers, and especially in the more


SNEWS Qs, Renee Hanson, Bani Bands Headbands

Renee Hanson, president Bani Bands Headbands Carson City, Nev. If you only had 1 minute with a retail customer, what would you tell them about yourself and your company to explain how and why you started manufacturing your product? I have a large head – especially for a girl! more


SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition: Ed Conklin, Boomerang Sports and Fitness

Ed Conklin, owner Boomerang Sports and Fitness (678) 965-4420 What are some of the most popular items in your store? I’m not just a fitness store, I’m also a sporting goods store, but on the fitness side, anything in the cardio world – whether it be treadmills, ellipticals and more


SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition: Bart Cappabianca, Southeastern Fitness Equipment

Bart Cappabianca Owner, Southeastern Fitness Equipment Orlando, Fla. What have you found to be the most popular items so far in 2012?I believe ellipticals have shown to be very popular so far, and we carry the new Helix machine, which we have had early success with thus far.What more


SNEWS Qs: Mylaps Sports Timing

Sandy Saffold Sales Manager WestMylaps Sports Timing Tell us about your brands and products? As the worldwide leader in sports timing systems, we don’t just sell timing systems, we invented them. Where did your inspiration come from? Mylaps started with RC Racing and was later more