Micky Schlagel, store manager
HealthStyles Park Meadows Store
Of all the new technology coming from fitness manufacturers these days, what is your favorite and why?
The entertainment side of technology coming from companies like Netpulse and TechnoGym, where you can pull up all your accounts — YouTube, Facebook, Hulu. This makes the experience a little more customized for the user.
What are some of the more popular fitness items in your store and why do you think customers are buying them?
We sell a lot of ellipticals, nothing out of the ordinary. We’re starting to sell a lot more ElliptiGos out of our store. People just like new and exciting stuff. There are companies that have pulled money away from [research and development] in last couple years, and those companies that haven’t and the ones that are making more of an impact now. Aside from ElliptiGos, we like seeing the iPod apps and new machines — whether it’s one that uses lateral movement or any others that are new and improved.
What makes your store different from other specialty fitness retailers out there?
We’re lucky enough that we’ve been around for 19 years and we can pick and choose what brands we sell. We have a commercial department, we’re locally owned and our owners have been round long enough to made good relationships. Because of those good relationships they’ve forged with brands, we’re able to give the customer a lot of options.
What is the biggest problem facing the fitness industry and how can we overcome it?
I can certainly say it’s going in a positive way. I think there’s a lot of upside with the focus now on health and the national awareness that’s being brought to the industry. Now that there’s a lot more technology, the user has a lot more control — you can track your workouts and it’s more accurate. But the biggest thing affecting the industry is these group workouts or DVD trainings, whether it’s CrossFit or P90X. People just buy the DVD and do everything at home rather than buying a treadmill. There is a lot of the in-home video workout stuff coming out.
What is the best thing about working in the fitness industry?
I’ve been active my whole life and really love the fitness industry. It’s nice to be on the other side, where you’re helping people achieve those goals and helping them accomplish things that they’ve been thinking about doing.
--Compiled by Ana Trujillo