Not wasting a minute since it acquired former Tunturi distributor Wynne in Canada, Accell Fitness, Tunturi's parent based in The Netherlands, will take the largest booth and the title sponsorship at this year's Health & Fitness Business Show as one way to show the industry it has changed.
"The old company is just gone. I've never been involved in something that has done such a turnaround," David Neziol, North American vice president of sales, told SNEWSÂ®. "While it's the same company, it's really not.
"The show is a chance to show what type of company we are to deal with this year, next year, and many years to come," he added.
Central to its formal re-introduction as a company at the show in Denver, Aug. 25-27, will be a re-launch of the Tunturi cardio brand, a launch of the Bremshey cardio brand out of Germany, and a launch of the German BS&T boxing brand.
The company has re-energized itself and Neziol said it will also bring that energy to the show. Accell President Martijn Nelissen from The Netherlands will give a casual presentation in the booth (#259) shortly after the show's opening at 1 p.m. Aug. 25. According to Neziol, he will address what happened with the acquisition, why the company did it, and what its expectations are. The company will also have hors d'oeuvres and beer for attendees in the booth on both Thursday, Aug. 25 and Friday, Aug. 26.
"The Accell Fitness Group is making a huge investment in North America," Neziol said. "Our hope is, we can react more quickly to what our dealers say they want."
Tunturi price decreases
One thing retailers will notice is lower prices on Tunturi equipment. For example, the list for the T85 treadmill has gone from $3,900 to $3,000, Neziol said, partly because the company is one with the parent and owns the manufacturer.
In addition, the line has been redesigned to have continuity in lines, colors and styles.
Plus, Neziol said, they are making an investment in their dealers: "Everybody says they want to partner up. Some do it better than others."
Called its "sport brand," the German Bremshey brand will be the "good" brand next to Tunturi's "better" brand in the company lineup. (Neziol wouldn't commit about whether there was a "best" brand to come.)
The slightly odd name hasn't made a difference to dealers, he said.
"The name became secondary to the look of the product," Neziol said. "The product is North-Americanized. It's taking that European design but making it fit for the North American market."
Blood, Sweat & Tears coming
The other launch at the show will be of the BS&T brand, also from Germany, a boxing brand that stands for "Blood, Sweat & Tears." The company sees it as the boxing line for specialty fitness. Although in Europe, the BS&T brand has a large selection of punching bags, gloves and other accessories, Accell North America was still deciding which SKUs would be introduced in North America.
Accell will also be "adding significantly to our dealer base," with the search also going on at the Denver show, he said.
"Because we have two cardio lines and a whole new set of products, in places where we haven't been before, there is an opportunity," Neziol said.
Meanwhile, with not even five months from its change in ownership (See SNEWSÂ® story, April 4, 2005, "Tunturi parent Accell buys Wynne in Canada") to the show, Accell (www.accell-group.com) has been busy.
"We've done a complete 180 in how we operate and in our products. The last few months have been a lot of work. It's all been geared toward Denver. It's a real re-launch this time into the market," Neziol said.
He added, "The goal is to get better everyday, and to have fun doing it. At the end of the day, it's fitness equipment, and it should be fun."
SNEWSÂ® View: In April, we said that the former Wynne group in Ontario seemed energized only days after the completion of the acquisition, and how much that enthusiasm would contribute to its success -- assuming product followed. Dealers we contacted said they were impressed so far with the commitment the company was showing to the industry, to the show, and to product improvement. The show should be for Accell quite a coming-out party.