Still working on development of its own higher-end retail equipment, Star Trac has meanwhile partnered with Lamar Fitness for mid-priced product, showcasing the equipment on its consumer website, www.startracusa.com.
The equipment, including treadmills, bikes, ellipticals and other pieces, have been selling direct-to-consumer via Star Trac for two months, and both parties said the partnership has been beneficial.
"We're helping each other," said Scott Eyler, director of consumer sales and marketing at Star Trac since May 2006. "He's getting brand exposure and we're able to offer product at a lower price point."
Lamar founder and President Kevin Lamar said his company is pleased with the sales.
"We officially embarked on a partnership on product and on joint marketing," Lamar said, "and we're looking to grow our relationship where it works."
Star Trac launched the website aimed at consumers in October 2006 (click here to see a Oct. 27, 2006, SNEWS® story, "Star Trac embarks on B2C brand awareness campaign.") as its first steps into a more formal consumer relationship. With the hire of Eyler in May 2006, the company announced it was ready to go after the home market beyond selling its commercial equipment to consumers who happen to contact the company.
Star Trac postponed its own high-end consumer/vertical product launch until the third quarter of 2007 -- originally announced for an ambitious first-quarter 2007 debut -- while it finalizes equipment plans and starts to line up dealers, Eyler said.
Even when it does launch its own line, Eyler said the Lamar product should remain since the Star Trac home product will fit in price between the Lamar offerings and its own current line.
"We're just expanding our offerings," Eyler said. "This is connecting with new consumers."
The Lamar equipment is shipped directly to a buyer's home using a "white glove service," Lamar said, and some assembly is required by the buyer. Nevertheless, orders are coming in nearly daily and the average price has remained high.