Monday, May 23, 2022

2022 Business Predictions: Karl Viner, co-owner, Fitness Options

It’s that time of year, when Business Link Magazine invites the region’s business leaders to offer up their predictions for the year ahead. 

It has become something of a tradition, given that we’ve been doing this now for over 30 years.

Here we speak to Karl Viner, co-owner, Fitness Options.

Perhaps we might be forgiven for having to dust off the old crystal kettlebell because frankly who knows what will happen but as with any other business, we’ve learned to adapt to the challenges and to embrace the business word of the pandemic era…’pivot’.

As an independent retailer, we’ve faced huge challenges and opportunities.

Our retail clients typically have their own home gym, are seeking to create one or have a hybrid space, like a garage, so the challenges gyms have faced has been a huge boon to us – try finding a set of dumbbells online this summer!

However, whilst we have one of the largest fitness stores in the UK, a lot of our customers are used to popping in to get to grips with the equipment we have. So whilst there have been windows of opportunity and a major upturn in footfall as soon as we re-opened, we’ve also invested heavily in a new ecommerce site which has helped us reach a wider audience and expand our offering.

We’ve also seen a major upsurge in enquiries from our commercial clients, with hotels and independent gyms upgrading their facilities but the interesting one has been the demand from businesses seeking to create “wellness” facilities for their staff. Some are creating small space for workouts, whilst others are commissioning us to help design and build entire fitness facilities for their teams.

We anticipate this trend will continue, as forward thinking firms see the opportunity to not only invest in their employees’ health and wellbeing but also seek to create an attractive working environment that aids retention, recruitment and the return to the office.

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