Life Fitness' Parent Expands

Franklin Park, Ill. — Brunswick Corp., Life Fitness's parent company, has expanded its family. Brunswick recently acquired Omni Fitness (Stamford, Conn.), Life Fitness's largest retail dealer, with 60 stores across the United States. This transaction follows the partnership agreement made in 1999 in which Life Fitness took a minority position in Omni as part of a strategy to expand distribution.

“The dealer channel remains strategically important to our success in the commercial and consumer segments,” said Kevin Grodzki, president of Life Fitness, in a company statement. “This acquisition affords us the opportunity to gain additional knowledge of the operations and management of a commercial and retail business, ultimately broadening our understanding of the needs and wishes of our customers, and improving their buying experience. This will assist us in developing and marketing products and services that will help our customers meet their fitness and wellness goals.”

The Omni Fitness company will be run as a completely separate business, with a dedicated management team responsible for handling day-to-day operations. A board of directors including representatives from Brunswick, Life Fitness and the Omni Fitness management team will guide the strategic direction of the enterprise. Tom Stark, former Omni Fitness CEO, will serve in a consultative role, while Kimberly Bors of Brunswick will serve as acting general manager until Stark's replacement is named.

Omni will be operated as an independent dealer of Life Fitness products and other complementary equipment and accessories, continuing to provide the products and services it has always provided. No plans have been made to change the inventory or the names of the stores, and Omni will be treated the same as when it was an independent dealer of Life Fitness and the same as all of Life Fitness's partner dealers.

“Brunswick and Life Fitness are very commmitted to the strategic, long-term success of our dealer network and will continue to support all our dealers,” said Grodzki. “At this point, there are no plans to purchase any other dealers or to sever any relationships. We will continue to conduct business with all our dealers as we have in the past. Based on the structure of the dealer agreements, there is no territorial overlap between Omni Fitness and our other dealers, so we will continue to support all of them.”


Best-of-Breed Companies Join Forces

BALTIMORE — Legend Information Systems, Belmont Financial Services, FitnessInsite.com, FutureLink Corp., BookingPlus and First Credit Services recently announced that they've formed a strategic partnership called Legend, in order to offer a one-stop club management solution for technology and customer relationships in the health and fitness industry.

These companies had joined forces to provide a comprehensive management and technology solution to Gold's Gym International. It was the success of this effort that prompted the formation of this partnership.

The Legend solution reportedly simplifies the necessary daily management processes for club operators. The Legend solution has been designed to allow clubs to manage all aspects of their business. Legend provides club operators a flexible answer for everything: membership database management, point-of-sale purchasing, Web-based customer retention tools, interactive fitness and nutrition programs with a full e-commerce solution, and billing and processing capabilities.

The solution's ability to be managed internally or externally through the Internet gives clubs the ability to handle millions of transactions and members spanning thousands of clubs and workstations.

“The more services that can be provided which seamlessly integrate from a single source, the more time that club owners have to concentrate on their business: selling memberships, servicing members and creating a new revenue stream, through its e-commerce solution,” said Steve Williams, COO for Legend Information Systems, in a statement. “That is where our clients truly make their living, not being computer professionals, billing collectors or bookkeepers.”