Fitness: Movin’ & Shakin’ — East Coast Fitness, HEST, FitChix, Foundation Fitness, Johnson Health, IHRSA and more…

Check out the latest updates from industry players including good news from the East Coast, bad news from FitChix, the re-birth of HEST Fitness, as well as much more.

With all the bad news about shuttered retail last year, SNEWS® wanted to showcase some good news: East Coast Fitness was opened nearly two years ago — during one of the worst times to open a store. Yet, owner Joe Dalzell says he’s not only paid the bills but is now actually hiring people. “Building this business has been tiring,” he told us, “but I don’t give up.” Good news? He won’t have to do everything himself. Dalzell’s East Coast Fitness ( took over the same New Jersey location in Englishtown that Brunswick Fitness vacated in 2008, where he worked 15 years before…. Take a look at the annual FitBiz by SNEWS retail report just out in March for all the other big picture news about the state of the fitness retail industry. Click here to read the report and download the “top retailer” charts

HEST Fitness, old logo and former owners now back in place, are continuing to add to the roster of suppliers: Star Trac and Inflight are now also on the list. See a SNEWS April 2, 2010, story for more on HEST’s re-entry. …. If you haven’t heard, the last FitChix retail store in Phoenix by Mike Grant and Dan Foust has closed. Grant told SNEWS the company is “re-aligning,” but the duo has not left behind its dreams of “innovative, alternative ways of distributing fitness products to the masses.” The store was part of a broad vision, he said, but unfortunately it opened in December 2007 — not the greatest in economic timing, of course. SNEWS wrote about the venture in December 2008. They have promised new ideas are coming….

Foundation Fitness has announced its launch under the ownership of former Nautilus vice president, commercial division, Jim Liggett. Based in Portland, Ore., Foundation will specialize in serving businesses in the western United States and Latin America (….Johnson Health Tech President Jason Lo has announced the company is expanding the global business done from the North American office in Madison, Wis. It will become the global marketing office to help streamline the brand around the world. Hired into the office will be an international marketing manager, a director of education and sales training, and a web developer, we were told. Said spokeswoman Patty Parrot, “We’ll be the voice of all business units.”… Beth Norviel is the new marketing director at True Fitness, replacing Katy Cushing…. Med-Fit Systems, the owner of the new Nautilus commercial division, has announced executive hires: Mark Meussner is the new president; Matt Braswell, executive vice president, sales and marketing; Mary Suhr, director of marketing and trade shows…

IHRSA has released figures on the March 2010 show’s size, but, unfortunately, the show staff has re-jiggered the reporting so comparisons are nearly impossible. This year, the association reported the show covered 304,000 NET square feet, which covers occupied space, including aisles. In the past, the show had reported gross square feet, i.e. the entire halls rented. For example, two years ago in the same hall in San Diego, it reported 400,000 square feet, which is the total space of the halls, therefore not taking into account unused space. Since the same halls were rented, the show could have again reported 400,000 square feet but decided to report only the space used. (Earlier figures were reported as 155,000 square feet, but were retracted as incorrect.) A year ago in San Francisco’s Moscone Center, the show reported 380,000 gross square feet but significant portions in the secondary hall remained unused. Click here to read a March 17, 2010, story about the show’s highlights and trends.

–Therese Iknoian

Got any news or tips about somebody, some product or some company doing some moving or shaking? Let us know so we can slip it into our occasional Movin’ & Shakin’ updates. Just email