MEDWAY, MA -- Cybex International, Medway, MA, notified its customers, dealers, distributors and shareholders this week that it will increase pricing on its commercial products. The notification, sent Dec. 7 by John Aglialoro, CEO of Cybex, did not specify how much pricing would increase or whether pricing would increase on all Cybex commercial products or just some. It did state the increase would occur in January.

A call to Cybex for specifics was not immediately returned. However, in the company's third quarter financial call, Aglialoro specifically noted that the Arc Trainer and some of the company's strength equipment might be priced higher due to what Aglialoro termed as their high "value" compared to competing products.

In the letter, Aglialoro said that the increase is because of the difficult economy and the company’s desire to maintain its research and development business so it could continue to improve its products.

The letter stated: “The situation for us to continue serving you requires a choice between two equally undesirable alternatives relative to price. Offer aggressive, deeply discounted pricing for 2010 (as too many competitors of Cybex are doing), or increase pricing in January to allow us to continue investing in explicit differentiation in product safety, efficacy and performance. At Cybex, we know we can’t continue to try to do both alternatives. Choosing the former path will, inevitably, lead to an innovative drought. As CEO, I choose the latter philosophy, knowing that criticism and self-doubt would be in order, but the responsibility to represent not only our customers and partners, but the employees and shareholders of Cybex, required a clear direction and a single choice.”

Aglialoro acknowledged in the letter that the increase may cause some customers to switch to other equipment providers.

“As you know, the fitness club market today is crowded and price-driven,” the letter said. “Relationships have too often turned into one-time transactions. Hence, we know that not all of you will wish to accommodate the philosophy of value over price. And, we do not want to dramatically and negatively affect the operation of your business. To the degree that is possible for Cybex, we will accommodate, where necessary, an orderly transfer of direction for you to move with another vendor.”

Aglialoro announced in the company’s third quarter financial call that Cybex would be increasing its pricing in the coming months. The company experienced lower sales in the first three quarters of 2009 and the last quarter of 2008.