So we hear at SNEWS that the word went around at and after the Health & Fitness Business Show that Greg Feeder, co-owner of AtHome Fitness in Phoenix, “mouthed off to the wrong person,” and got himself a beaut of a shiner. FUNNY and NOT true. Feeder was one (sadly of, we hear, few) who took some time to peruse the Interbike show floor next door where there was a heck of a lot going on. In the Ryders sunglasses booth, in fact, they were painting on fake gashes and bruises. And he took them up on it. Yup, it was pretty realistic too (see that photo here in our Sept. 27 story, which we snapped of him as he scampered out of the Interbike hall). Looked as if he’d taken a nasty header on a bike -- or mouthed off. Naaaaaah….
Speaking of the show, a few days after we printed very early preliminary numbers in our story of Sept. 27 (click here to see that SNEWS wrap), show management finished purging the attendee lists of duplicates and caught up with nose-counting. These numbers are still not fully scrubbed but closer, we were told. In all, HFB attendance by buyers over the two days was 1,316. Of those 1,170 were retail buyers and another 146 were distributors or importers. That’s about 4.5 times the number a year ago and more than double two years ago. Unique stores represented at the show were 665, or just under four times a year ago. Overall, 29 countries were represented, and working media at HFB was 81 compared to 17 in 2009 -- partly due to the co-location with Interbike....
Feeder’s partner at AtHome Fitness, Bryan Dorksen was indeed at home rather than at the Vegas show. His twin boys, Mason and Caden, were born just days earlier on Sept. 16. First-time parents Dorksen and his wife Hillary were excused -- for good reason!…. Still out and about is John Conti, who has been selling Treadmill Doctor’s new extended service plan since July…. Lifeline USA has a new interim president/CEO, Barbara Koren, who is filling in for Bill Sotis who left to pursue other opportunities…. Laura Capes is now marketing director for retailer Push Pedal Pull…. Randy Bergstedt, former vice president of marketing at Star Trac, has left that company, where’d he’d been for 12 years, to take the position of executive vice president at efi Sports Medicine, maker of the Total Gym….
Bob Prosser, former general manager at Omni Fitness, is now the new vice president of retail sales for Fitness Resource. He replaces Kevin Long. According to owner David Nees, Prosser will be working to rebuild the company’s retail strength and sales numbers. The Virginia-based chain (www.fitnessresource.com) has pared back to 19 stores this year from its peak of 25. Meanwhile, its cycling business, under the moniker of FR Cycling (www.frcycling.com), is expanding and now is represented in 15 stores….
Fitness Systems Inc. of Tennessee has shut down completely after paring back early this year to a completely commercial business without storefronts, sources have told SNEWS. A check in late summer showed the website was offline (photo - right), while in early summer the website (www.fitnesssystemsinc.com) was still active (photo - below). President Johnny Clark has not returned phone calls or emails. In its heyday, Fitness Systems had eight stores in four states and carried, among others, Precor, Vision and Hoist. In 2009, it had closed one to finish the year with seven. The business was begun by former pro basketball player Rod Freeman in 1985, according to Freeman’s LinkedIn profile. The profile added that he sold the interests to the business in 1998, but helped facilitate a buyback in 2001….
In better retail news, Fitness Mart of San Diego has grown from one store to two, with the second in Encinitas, Calif. Co-owner Mark Tollison told SNEWS the business will carry Precor, True, Vectra, Inspire and LifeCore…. And also in Southern California, Workout World, based in Australia with a first store in California as of May 2010, has signed the lease for a second store in the Torrance area, with a projected (albeit optimistic) opening of December, owner Darren Piggens told SNEWS. Click here to see a May 24, 2010, story about WOW’s new business in the United States….
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