SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition: Todd Cynecki, US Fitness Charlotte

This SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition, features a Q&A with Todd Cynecki, a 19-year fitness industry veteran who recently was tapped to run the newly opened US Fitness Charlotte, N.C.

Todd Cynecki

General manager, US Fitness Charlotte, Charlotte, N.C.

Todd Cynecki, a 19-year fitness industry veteran who is now the general manager of the newly opend US Fitness Charlotte, in Charlotte, N.C. Here's what he has to say about his new venture and his background in the industry.


How long has the store opening been in the works?

We decided to open around the time of the [HFB] show in Las Vegas. 

What made you decide to open the store?

The decision was made to open because we felt that the market fit the demographics for a successful store, in addition to that we got the support from a couple key vendors that made it an easy decision.

When did you officially open?

December 1 [2011] was our first day. We had a preview store during the month of December while our permanent space was being renovated. We moved into the permanent location January 15. 

Tell me about your background in the fitness industry?

My industry background goes back to the early '90s with a company called Image. I started out as a sales assistant and worked my way up to the sales representative. The company dissolved our office in Ohio, and I moved to California to start my own independent rep company. I stayed in California for three years and then moved back to Ohio in 2000 to work as a territory manager for Bodycraft. I stayed there until 2011. I had a short stint in New York with Fitness Showrooms as the company's vice president and left that position for this opportunity in North Carolina with US Fitness Charlotte

How will your background help you with this new venture?

My experience in this industry as a manufacturer rep will be a huge help for us here in Charlotte. Calling on retailers for almost 20 years gives you a great insight into the success and failures of other companies. I believe we will mirror some of my successful accounts in many ways with your own ideas weaved into the plan. In the end it is a very simple plan, offer the customer an opportunity to shop in a clean, well-merchandised store, give them an informative presentation based on their needs or goals and deliver what you promise.

What makes yours different from other specialty fitness retailers out there?

Our company's tagline is, "The difference is us." So we believe that people make the difference. Specialty fitness retail stores are all cut from the same cloth, we all sell treadmills, ellipticals, bikes and home gyms. The way you can rise above the others is through your dedication to the customer's experience. One of the things we are doing is keeping the delivery and installs under our roof to ensure that we control the customers experience rather than subcontracting that work out.

Another way I think we will differ from other retailers is in the strength category. The industry has changed so much in the past 10 years in the ratio of strength to cardio sales. Having worked for a strength equipment manufacturers at Bodycraft that was frustrating to see. So I am on a personal mission to bring strength sales back. I believe the cardio customers coming in the stores need strength training in their routines, so we simply ask them, "What are you doing for strength?" From that point the conversation begins and you take it from there.

Why did you choose Charlotte, N.C.?

I personally chose Charlotte for a couple of reasons, having lived above the Mason Dixon line for the majority of my life, I simply could not go through another winter. The Charlotte climate, while it is not quite tropical, is a great change for me. The ability to get on the golf course in January is never a bad thing. The other reason is I had a tremendous belief in my ownership to provide me with all of the tools I would need to succeed. Their ability to provide me with a beautiful store, great lines and the green light to make vertical market sales made this an easy decision. 

What are some of the machines/equipment you are focused on selling?

We sell Life Fitness, Octane, Bodycraft, Lifespan, Lifecore and Powerblock. Our focus will be supporting the lines that have agreed to support us. 

What are some of your goals for the future of the store?

Growth and profitability are the goals for our future. I believe we can accomplish those goals one customer at a time. We want to build a business that has both retail and commercial sales in addition to service. If we can get all three phases working at a high level our longterm goals will be met.

What is the significance behind the store’s name?

Well, we don't live in Canada.

--Ana Trujillo



SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition: Chip Hunnings, Colorado Home Fitness

Chip Hunnings President, Colorado Home Fitness, Denver, Colo. What are some of the best-selling items in your stores?Category-wise, treadmills and ellipticals lead the way by a long shot. We’ve been doing surprisingly well with strength. We’ve been talking to other retailers and more


SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition: Micky Schlagel, HealthStyles

Micky Schlagel, store manager HealthStyles Park Meadows Store 303-790-9870 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 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: Leo Clark, president Fitness Lifestyles

Leo Clark President, Fitness Lifestyles, Inc., Asbury Park, N.J. What are some of the best-selling items at your store right now and why do you think they’re popular? This past winter it seemed that treadmills and elliptical sales were almost even. As for the smaller items, it’s 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, Retailer Edition: Rodney Rice Jr., Fitness Expo

Rodney Rice Jr.Owner, Fitness Expo, Metairie, La. What do you think it will take for the fitness industry to grow a bit faster than it's growing now? I think that the specialty fitness business is not advertised or marketed very well nationally. The majority of consumers out more


SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition: Andy Venditti, Syracuse Fitness Store

Andy Venditti, owner Syracuse Fitness Store, Syracuse, N.Y. (315) 449-2264 What are the most popular items in your store? Probably the small, little gadget stuff that the personal trainers are using. The past couple months our big, bulky items slowed down with the warm winter more


SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition: Terrell Roberts, Coastal Fitness Equipment

Terrell Roberts Coastal Fitness Equipment 704-844-0497 What are some of the best-selling items in your store and why do you think they’re so popular? Ellipticals and treadmills because everybody is in the fitness craze right now and it’s about time for everybody to come inside. more


SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition: Michael Asenti, Coastal Fitness

Michael Asenti Owner, Coastal Fitness, West Palm Beach, Fla. 561-712-0381 What are some of the best-selling items at your store right now. and why do you think they’re popular? Customers are responding very well to all the Life Fitness pieces with the Track Consoles. It seems more