Review of Fitness HQ & Busy Body Stores

fhq_bbWhy should I buy from that store?” is a question many people ask themselves when shopping for items like electronics, clothing, groceries, gifts, and even fitness equipment.

What makes you want to purchase items from a certain store? No doubt there are many factors that contribute to a positive shopping and buying experience.

Hut asked Craig Lewin of Fitness HQ and Busy Body stores, with locations in the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex, this question, “Why should people buy from your stores?”

Here is reason #1 of 3…

Hut:  This is Hut Allred with New Wave Fitness here with Craig Lewin of Fitness Headquarters and Busy Body. How are you doing today?

Craig: I’m good, man. How are you?

Hut:  I’m good. I wanted to kind of go over what makes coming in and buying from Fitness HQ and Busy Body different from buying from other department stores because we show everybody all of this equipment, but what makes it different? When people come in here to purchase equipment from you, why should they purchase from you?

Craig: We get that question all the time. When clients come in, they ask us that question, too. The biggest thing is that when you go in a lot of the department stores out there, the fact of the matter is, first of all, you’ll be lucky if you even get anybody to help you.

It’s because there’s usually a lot going on in those stores. They don’t have the personnel necessary to staff every single area. This is a very specialized thing. We are really trying to form a relationship with you guys.

When clients come in the door here and they’re looking for a treadmill, it’s not just that we’re just going to sell them a treadmill, but we also want to get to know why they’re coming in the store. Did the doctor tell them to come to the store? What are the issues they’re dealing with?

We really want to get involved in their life a little more, get to the root of what the issue is, and then put them in a piece of equipment that fits those needs as best as possible.

Hut:  So, you ask the questions, you identify what the objectives are, and then you try to help them find the equipment that fits their goals.

Craig: Absolutely. I can’t tell you how many times a customer will come in a store (and I’ve seen it so many times with our managers), they’ll come in, a customer will say, “Yeah, I’m here to see ellipticals.”

The first question that they ask is not, “Well, here, let me just show you the ellipticals,” or “What elliptical do you want?” or “What’s your price range?” The first question they ask is, “Why an elliptical?” or “Why a treadmill?”

The other day I was in our Frisco Fitness HQ location and I noticed the guy walked in and he said, “I want a treadmill.” The first thing the manager there said was, “If you don’t mind me asking, why a treadmill? What’s going on with you? Tell me about it.”

They even got him to tell them about what happened. He got in a ski accident. He’s rehabbing something. He seems to like to run so he wanted something with a soft cushioning.

What the manager there found out in talking to him is that he doesn’t need a treadmill. He needs an elliptical. So, he switched him over to an elliptical. That’s what he sold him. We’re not there just to sell to people what they think they want right off the bat.

We’re there to really form that bond with them, try to find out what’s going to help them, and then get them into it. We’ve got guys that have been doing this for 20 years.

Hut:  Absolutely.

Craig:  I pride ourselves in the fact that we’ve got guys and girls like that who’ve got great experience in the industry. They’ve been around and grown up with all of us. The level of experience you get from them, you can ask them any questions and they’ll be able to respond to you.

Here is reason #2 of 3…

Hut: What about quality? Tell me about that.

Craig: The big thing, too, is that when you walk into a store like ours—Busy Body and Fitness HQ, the level of quality that you get into with the pieces of equipment are the next step up. So, you go into the departments stores, there’s kind of one level of stuff.

I know a lot of you out there talk about clothes hangers and I don’t want to buy a clothes hanger. The fact of the matter is if you don’t get something that you really like that is good quality, it will become a clothes hanger guaranteed, 100%.

What we love about our products is that we have really taken the time to hand pick exactly what we want for the floors where the quality of the stuff is really good ranging anywhere from still $599 all the way up to five-six-eight-$10,000—a huge range. We’ve hand picked everything.

We’ve done what customers do out there. We go to trade shows and we literally pick exactly what we want for the floors. We didn’t end up with the equipment that’s in here. This is what we want for our customers.

I think that the best part about it is when a customer comes in and they get a really good piece of quality, what ends up happening is they use it, they love it, and every time they’re on the machine they’re going, “I’ve got the best, most kick-butt machine in the industry. This is awesome.”

They get excited about it. Then we see them later and they get results from it. The other big thing with having good quality stuff is that they’re not dealing with all the service problems.

Hut:  Exactly.

Craig:  That’s huge.

Hut:  When you invest in quality, it lasts and if you don’t invest in quality, it does not last.

Craig:  The people who are really going to use the product are going to make the investment. Because the fact of the matter is, if you’re really going to be committed and you’re really going to use the product, and you don’t get something that’s decent quality, it won’t last.

The belts will slip on the treadmill and your face will plane to the depth, which you don’t want. You can get hurt; you’ve got to be careful.There can be machines that just don’t have good biomechanics as far as following the natural motion of somebody moving like somebody on a bike or an elliptical.

So, we focus on those things. When you get an elliptical, the motions feel great on our ellipticals. When you get an exercise bike, it’s comfortable. You’ve got a nice recumbent bike with a back support. We think of all the things that these customers are thinking of when they come into our showroom.

Reason #3 of 3, the final installment…

Hut: Tell me about service. You have good quality products here. What about the follow-up, the service? Tell me how that’s different from buying from just any other department store?

Craig: That’s a great, great question. I’m glad you asked that because when you buy from a department store, you are going to call a 1-800 number. That’s how it’s going to work.

At the end of the day, the one thing that really sets us apart is the fact that we want to deal with your service issue if you have an issue. If we have a manufacturer tell us, “Well, you could carry the product, but if your customer has a service issue they need to call us or call the 1-800 number.”

We actually don’t tend to floor it, period. We want to know that if you have a problem, you can call me at the store and I can get the service company to come right out to your house, take care of it, be hands on and, boom, we’re done.

We just find the 1-800 type stuff is tough. You get on the phone; you end up with some random person who just started working there possibly. The level of service is not there.

So we really try to give you guys the BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Audi service. We really do, even though we have a huge range of product, ranging from low to high. Even some stores have used stuff. We’ve got a big range, but we will not carry anything in our showrooms that we know is going to be a detriment or hold the customers back.

Hut:  So, basically what you’re telling me is if someone wants to buy a piece of equipment from Fitness Headquarters or Busy Body, they’re going to come in, they’re going to get a professional who’s going to help them identify the equipment that’s specific to their goals.

They’re going to invest in a piece of equipment that’s going to last for years, that’s quality. Then they’re going to have the service, top end service that’s going to make sure that if anything does happen, it gets taken care of efficiently.

Craig:  Exactly.

Hut:  That’s pretty much what makes buying from Fitness HQ and Busy Body different.

Craig:  We have contracts set up even with some of these vendors that talk about how quickly the turnaround needs to be when they have an issue. Now, when you have a problem with your treadmill, how quickly that turnaround needs to be. We have things set up with them that say that you have to have the part available ten years from the time that you bring the product out.

Let’s say you buy a treadmill and four years down the road there’s a problem with it, which we hope there won’t be, and the part’s not available. What do you do? We carry products where, we had a guy call the other day who had a 15-year-old machine and we were able to get him the part. People don’t think about those types of things and all of that really goes into it. It makes a huge, huge difference.

Hut:  Absolutely. It sounds like if you’re looking to invest in equipment for your home for long term, there’s really one place to go to and that’s Fitness Headquarters and Busy Body in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

Craig:  We love what we do. We’re a privately owned company. It is a lot of fun what we do. We’ve done it for 25 years. In fact, right now we’re celebrating 25 years in the business, which is incredible in Dallas.

Hut:  That’s a long time. It’s great.

Craig:  We’ve got 12 locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex—two in Austin, two in San Antonio as well, so 16 total stores. We love what we do. We’re passionate about it. We have fun doing it. We look forward to getting you guys to come in our store and making you a part of the Busy Body Fitness HQ family.

Hut:  All right, great. That’s all the really big reasons why you should come and visit these stores. If you get a chance to do that, please, everybody will take care of you. You do feel like you’re part of a family and that’s one great thing about these stores. Nice, Craig. I appreciate it.

Craig:  Thanks, Hut. I appreciate it, man.

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