Sears shaping up as a fitness leader

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears announced that it has completed a number of initiatives designed to reinforce itself as a fitness leader. 

"Whether just starting a new workout routine or a longtime fitness enthusiast, customers want a complete solution," said Hugo Malan, SVP and president, fitness, sporting goods and toys at Sears Holdings. "Sears sells more fitness equipment than anyone else and we believe in continually improving our offering, so we have built an online fitness community and developed new destinations that attract customers both in-store and online."

Sears recently completed construction on its latest "Fitness Flagship" store-within-a-store. Continuing a roll out that began last year at select Sears locations and now in more than 35 sites, these 6,000 sq. ft. Fitness Flagship specialty stores feature polished hardwood floors, tall mirrors, expanded equipment layouts and resemble a modern, high-end gym, the company said. According to Sears, the stores are staffed by expert salespeople who have been trained on fitness products and trends, and feature dozens of floor models to try from leading brands like NordicTrack, LifeFitness, Sole, Smooth, ProForm, AFG, Bladez, Schwinn and others.

Sears also touted its online fitness website, FitStudio, which was created with the help of an advisory board of fitness and nutrition professionals and features free access to a range of training resources, including: blog posts about fitness trends, a content-rich video library demonstrating individual exercises, complete workouts and multi-day exercise programs. Members can also access FitStudio's database of more than 130,000 personal trainers and identify a local trainer and fitness events by a zip code search.