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    Our History

    It is our many years of experience and dedication to the fitness industry that make us one of the market leaders. How does this benefit you??

    - Meticulous product selection means our products are reliable, robust and fit for their intended purpose 

    - No Middle Man. Factory direct to you. This saves you hundreds of dollars on Like for like product when compared with the Fitquip Range of Fitness Products.

    - The Fitquip warranty; Effective, fast warranty and backup stems from the availability of parts. We hold an extensive range of parts, not only for the Fitquip range but for the Fitness Industry as a whole. We have a National network of technicians to facilitate our warranty backup anywhere inAustralia.

    So Here is our story..

    The origins of Fitquip Fitness date back to 1983.

    In 1983 a gentleman by the name of Robert Britza established a fitness equipment hire company called Family Fitness.

    This was a small enterprise that was ran from his home in Canningvale Western Australia, with approximately 40 machines. A mix of Treadmills, Exercise Bikes, Crosstrainers and Rowing Machines. 

    We acquired the business in May 1999 and continued to trade as a part time fitness equipment hire business from home our home in Cannington. With in a year the business had grown to almost 200 machines, mainly Treadmills as this is where the demand was. It was clear that our growth was only limited by our ability to meet demand. 

    In 2001 we moved to our first warehouse/ showroom and for the first time began to retail Fitness Equipment in addition to hire. Our range grew rapidly. By 2002 our hire fleet was in excess of 400 hire units and our retails sales were booming. 

    We had an extensive range of 18 treadmill models, 4 Crosstrainer models (these were only a new introduction to the fitness equipment market), 6 models of Exercise Bikes, 2 models of Recumbent Bikes and 3 models of Rowing machines.

    At this point in time we were stocking mainly Healthstream, Tunturi, Infiniti & Vision fitness branded products. 

    Times were very buoyant, not only was the fitness equipment industry in its adolescence, but we were on the cusp of a huge economic boom. Our marketing generated a huge increase in that drove us to the decision to open a second retail store North of Perth in Malaga. 

    In 2003 the new store North of Perth was beginning to perform and not only did we need more space, we needed a better retail location South of Perth. 

    In 2004 we relocated our retail presence to a new store on Albany Hwy Cannington. Simultaneously this gave us a significantly stronger retail presence and more warehouse space. We continued to grow. Our range of Treadmills, Crosstrainers and Exercise Bikes had grown significantly and we were now stocking additional brands such as York Fitness, Trimline & True Fitness. 

    As a result of the additional retail space, we introduced our strength range. Our strength range was extensive with products like, Weight Benches, Home Gyms, Smith Machines, Power Cages,PowerTowers, Racks, Weight Plates, Dumbbells, Bars and more. We began to carry the following strength brands; York Fitness FTS, Bodysolid, Infinti Fitness, Repco Fitness, Healthstream Strength & Paramount. 

    We also added a Boxing and Accessories range with the following brands: Jim Bradley Boxing, Impact Boxing, Everlast Boxing, Adidas Boxing and accessories brands such as Loumet, Tanita & Polar etc. 

    In 2005 we commenced Fitquip Fitness to target purely online sales whilst still operating as Family Fitness. This was a runaway success. At this point in time we were one of the few operators doing this and our sales through this division were staggering. The idea was to offer the products for sale under the pricing model of an internet supplier i.e. lower overheads.

    As time progressed it became harder and harder to keep the retail business separate from the Internet business, which resulted in the merging of the cost bases. This in effect, forced the overall margins of the combined business models down. The end result is the retail model that you see today. This is best summed up as “An internet business with a retail presence” and opposed to a “retail business with an internet presence”. 

    The transition to today’s business model, combined with the economic turmoil of the GFC, has been brutal. 

    In 2005 we acquired Royel Fitness based North of Perth in Osborne Park. We rebranded our entire retail business to Royel Fitness and moved our main operations from Cannington to Osborne Park, where we rented an additional 1000m2 of warehouse. At this point we had 3 retail stores and our internet division Fitquip Fitness. 

    2006 was a year of stabilisation, where we adapted to all the recent changes and the emerging instability in fitness equipment retail business as a direct result of the emergence of the internet. 

    In 2007 the competition in the market was really heating up with the introduction of 3 new national players and the expansion of our main Perth based competitor. The market was becoming tougher on 3 fronts. 1) The pricing pressures of the Internet. 2) The dramatic increase in the number of new retail stores in the fitness equipment market and 3) The difficulties this rapid expansion created in the supply lines in relation to point of difference of ranges, brands and our ability to achieve the required margins.

    The pressure was building, but it was near on impossible to see how this was going to play out. It was clear that we could not all survive. 

    Early 2008 the second largest Fitness Equipment specialty chain in Australia, with 22 stores nationaly was forced into administration. Four of these stores were based in Perth.

    In July 2008 we decided to take over these four Perth based stores. This gave us seven fitness equipment retail outlets in Perth. Two in Osborne Park, One in Bayswater, Myaree, Cannington and two in Mandurah.

    Our strategy was simple, to remove some of the competitive pressure in the market through acquisition rather then a price war.

    We proceeded with closing the lesser of the duplicate locations, ie Osborne Park and Mandurah. We kept the best of the two stores in these areas. 

    In September 2008 we were offered the opportunity to take over the master license of Elite Fitness Equipment nationally, which we accepted and became the master licensor on October 3rd 2008. At this point in time we had our hands very full, with 5 Fitness Equipment retails outlets in Perth and national brand to manage. There were now only 17 stores nationally. Five stores were closed in the transition from the original owners and us taking over. 

    The general prognosis for the economy at this point in time was that the growth in China and the subsequent boom this created in Australia would continue for at least 15 years. The GFC (Global Financial Crisis) had not been fully realised, in fact was just a significant, but controllable failure in the banking sector. 

    On October 6th 2008, the world went into economic meltdown and the Australian dollar plummeted from approximately 87 cents to 60 cents. The impact of this and the immediate drying up of available funds on an international scale, devastated all but the very established in the fitness equipment industry. 

    Fitness equipment such as Treadmills, Crosstrainers and Exercise Bikes are largely at the discretionary spend end off the market. When times are tough or uncertain, they are one of the first things to get dropped off the shopping list. That combined with the soaring cost of imported products and the integration costs of such a large business expansion meant we were in serious trouble.

    As things happened, we had no idea just how sever this down turn would prove to be and how the fitness equipment industry would be decimated as a result of it. 

    What proceeded to unfold were some of the toughest years and business decisions anyone could be expected to have made. Through out this entire process we were flying blind. We had to prepare for the absolute worst economic conditions Australia had seen in our lifetimes, whilst trying to transition a business model that was created in extremely buoyant market, to one that could function in a downturn. 

    The net result is that we started closing the lesser performing stores. These were stores that we not only just spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase, but had only very recently been extensively fitted out. Despite this, we proceeded to reduce our staffing costs and gutting Myaree, Bayswater and Mandurah stores. 

    This left us with two functioning stores Osborne Park and Cannington, and the master licence. 

    2009 was a year of frantic deconstruction of our business and in October we were forced to walk away from the Osborne Park store and the national master licence. It was that or insolvency. 

    We also walked away from the Elite Fitness Group and rebranded our last remaining store to Fitquip Fitness. After much analysis of the market, our position and the issues that attributed to our failures, we came to three conclusions;

    - We must gain greater control over our margin and supply lines ie Import directly

    - There is still an enormous amount of opportunity in the Fitness Equipment Industry and

    - We had accumulated an enormous amount experience in this industry, so lets use it. 

    The past 3 years have been extremely tough as we transitioned from a Fitness Equipment retailer that relied entirely on local supply, to and importer. 

    We now have our own Fitquip branded range of Treadmills, Crosstrainers, Exercise Bikes, Home Gyms, Weight Benches, Boxing equipment, Weights, Dumbbells and a complete accessories range.

    We also carry and retail to the fitness equipment industry an extensive range of spare parts. It is due to this, our warranty management and preventions process’s and products that we now have one of the best warranty back ups in the industry.

     

    Aaron Powell

    Director