Yowza Fitness launches online with treadmills, ellipticals

More than a year after leaving Smooth Fitness -- the company he co-founded -- Joe Alter has launched Yowza Fitness with a similar Internet model.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

More than a year after leaving Smooth Fitness -- the company he co-founded -- Joe Alter has launched Yowza Fitness with a similar Internet model.

“I’m back in the game,” Alter told SNEWS® about Yowza (www.yowzafitness.com).

This time, however, the company will focus on e-commerce instead of branching out into brick-and-mortar, Alter explained.

“I’ll stick with what I do best,” said Alter, who left Smooth as president in March 2006 before totally departing the business in the summer of 2008. Yowza was launched in September 2009. Alter goes back in the fitness industry to 1985, when he was running a fitness store in downtown Philadelphia with his father. He first started doing Internet sales in 1996.

Part-owner in the business is his supplier, Greenmaster of Taiwan. Yowza will have many of the products for North America that the company sells in Europe under either its Green Fitness or Reebok Fitness brands. Alter said he also expects to get into table tennis in 2010.

At this time, he has four ellipticals, four treadmills and an ab training piece he calls the “Core-X.” One of the ellipticals, the Captiva, has a motion much like Smooth’s Agile Trainer although, for example, it adds converging arms on the upper body. Ellipticals have prices of $800 to $2,000. The four treadmills run from $1,200 to $2,000, per the website. All of the pieces have all the bells and whistles, he said, including iPod docking, built-in speakers and built-in fans.

The Core-X is a counter-rotational abdominal workout piece. Soon to come, he said, are workout regiments, as well as equipment videos to better explain and demonstrate how the equipment works.

With the economic slowdown that has many in sporting goods and fitness moaning about dipping sales, Alter said he nevertheless wanted back in.

“I love it. I missed it,” he said of fitness. “It’s a comfort zone. It’s nice to be in a business where you know what the customers think and you know people.”

About it being a tough time for new companies?

“I think it’s a good time to start a business,” he said.

And the equipment names? Captiva, Navarre, Smyrna, Sanibel…. They are all beaches and islands in Florida, where Alter lives.

--Therese Iknoian

Related

Smooth Fitness gets new board, investors to grow to next level

Eight years after creating the Smooth fitness brand, CEO and founder Joe Alter has not only upped his stake, but brought additional shareholders aboard both as investors and board members to help grow the company. "You'll see a lot of activity here," Alter told SNEWS®. "We're ...read more

Survey_Retailer.jpg

SNEWS 2009 Fitness Retailer Survey, part 4: Treadmills, bike, ellipticals, A-trainers and overall best-selling cardio

With so much to present from our annual SNEWS® Fitness Retailer Survey, we broke up the results for 2009 into four parts, three of which have been posted to our site over the last few weeks. All of the news and votes make for interesting reading, and we don’t want any one ...read more

Spirit adds elliptical to its treadmill line

Looking to capture some of the still-growing elliptical market, Spirit Fitness has taken its first step away from its treadmill line and added an elliptical trainer. The MX Series trainer is, like its treadmill counterparts, made in the company's Arkansas facility, and the first ...read more

Joe Marcoux launches "Just Did It" specialty fitness sales training

After two decades in the fitness retail business on both the retail and supply side, Joe Marcoux has decided to take his energy and passion to the industry on a broader scale. In late May, the former vice president of sales for RedZone Fitness launched his company, called "Just ...read more

New equipment vendor Volume Fitness launches its business with bikes, treads, ellipticals

Never heard of Volume Fitness? No problem, the brand-new equipment manufacturer is just now turning up the dial so everybody will hear about it. Although a specialty retail fitness supplier, the company debuted at the IHRSA trade show earlier this month to make contacts with ...read more

New kid Octane Fitness rolls out ellipticals

As if there weren't enough fitness equipment manufacturers trying to get a slice of the retail pie, enter another company -- Octane Fitness. But it's not trying to be all things to all people, as the trend seems to be of late. In fact, it just has ellipticals. Not only will it ...read more

TreadmillDocLogo.jpg

Treadmill Doctor launches specialty fitness extended service plan program

Sensing a missing link in customer service as well as in possible income for specialty retailers, Treadmill Doctor is launching an extended service plan program to be sold with equipment at retail. “Service plans in the fitness industry are huge business. They’re a great source ...read more

treadimageSM.jpg

Interest in energy-efficient treadmills prompts Life Fitness’ independent testing

As the demand for clubs to cut costs increases, fitness equipment is coming under scrutiny since it can be a huge energy draw -- one of the largest costs of a club and a widening consumer interest in these days of demand for more things “green.” At Life Fitness, the claims were ...read more

Theradyne treadmills to be no more

Bemoaning the inability to compete in an increasingly Asian-manufactured market, Kurt Manufacturing is exiting the treadmill and fitness equipment business and dumping its Theradyne brand. At the Health & Fitness Business show in Denver, the Theradyne space listed in the show's ...read more