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The world didn’t end, so you have plenty more SNEWS to look forward to in 2013. But on this final day of year, we look back at our top 10 favorite SNEWS fitness stories from 2012, ordered by date.
- SNEWS saw an increasing number of green, energy-saving products at trade shows this year, but many focused on the commercial sector. In January, we looked at what it would take for the equipment to go green at retail.
- Cybex spent much of 2011 weighed down by a lawsuit, but got good news with a settlement in early 2012 and then sold the company later in the year.
- There was a time when a person could walk into a specialty fitness retailer, spot the machine of their dreams and take it home without having to make a payment for a whole year. Thanks to the Credit Card Reform Act of 2008, those deals are gone as Congress determined it was not in the consumer’s best interest to avoid payment for a whole year and then have to deal with it all at once. While representatives from GE Capital say they haven’t seen a decline in the number of people applying for financing to purchase fitness equipment since the legislation was passed, fitness retailers tell SNEWS their customers are more reluctant to apply for credit than they used to be.
- Usually bad weather is a bad omen. But not for fitness retailers. Triple-digit, record-breaking heat in the Denver, Colo., metro area this summer had us shouting, “I’m melting!” like the Wicked Witch in “The Wizard of Oz” as we bolted into our air-conditioned homes to run on our treadmills. We can’t be the only ones. Judging from what some home fitness retailers say, bad weather brings good sales. After a winter season of grim sales for the fitness industry, thanks to unseasonably mild weather that drove people outdoors for workouts, things might be looking up thanks to record-breaking heat in several parts of the country.
- This year’s IDEA Health & Fitness Association’s World Fitness Convention wasn’t just any old event, it was more of a celebration. That’s because it was the 30th anniversary of Peter and Kathie Davis starting a newsletter in their San Diego bedroom for like-minded health professionals. That newsletter grew to an organization that reaches more than 250,000 people annually.
- Fitness technology is booming, but without much consistency. A consortium of fitness brands came out with an update in September on their efforts to standardize certain fitness equipment measurements, starting with calories burned.
- Nearly gone are the days when there are only subtle differences between the treadmills and ellipticals offered by fitness companies. Nowadays it’s about the technology. You can run a mile or 10 on any treadmill, or get in an hour or two on any elliptical, but why just stand there and look in a mirror or out a window when you could virtually travel all over the world? At HFB this year, several companies brought to the show proprietary technology that takes users into some the world’s most beautiful landscapes while others are developing apps to make workouts more personalized.
- It’s not often that a 75th anniversary can be celebrated so we think it’s something special. Gym Source got its start as a sporting goods store called Cutler Owens in Rockefeller Center in 1937. Back then it was owned by Al Owens and Murray Cutler. In 1974, when Richard Miller joined the team, the store started to become more of a running and tennis store, versus just a sporting goods store. Check out our story on its 75th anniversary.
- After one Vegas vacation in 2012, Club Industry decided to return home to Chicago in 2013. Despite the general air of enthusiasm among exhibitors about bringing Club Industry to Las Vegas, turnout among exhibitors and attendees didn’t increase with the move. In fact, said Show Director Adam Anderson, the numbers were down. Not by much, he said, but enough to make the show organizers move back to Chicago in 2013.
- The specialty home fitness industry isn’t what it used to be. More retailers are dealing in light commercial equipment and there are increasing opportunities in that arena. SNEWS chatted with specialty fitness retailers who have been dealing in light commercial equipment for years, and some who are just setting out on their journey.