Reebok Bows New Retail Concept

Reebok is taking its commitment to CrossFit training to the next level.

The Canton, Mass.-based subsidiary of Adidas AG bowed its Reebok Fit Hub in New York this week, a retail concept that’s part store and part CrossFit gym.

“Retail today is not just about a point of purchase, it’s about a point of experience,” said Reebok CEO Uli Becker. “That’s what we’re trying to address with this concept, a means to build and engage consumer relationships.”

The new location, on Fifth Avenue, is connected to a 10,000-sq.-ft. membership-only CrossFit gym. Staff members at the flagship are certified trainers who can advise consumers on exercise, nutrition and selecting the proper gear.

Reebok has bowed similar concepts overseas in Korea and Russia. Becker said plans for rolling out the model nationwide are yet to be determined.

“This is the first in the U.S., and in a way, it’s a pilot project to see how we can make sense of it commercially,” he said.

After the company posted weaker than expected earnings last quarter, Becker added he’s optimistic that focusing on fitness-centric initiatives like the Hub will help get the brand on track. He cited the implosion of the toning market, business model problems in India and losing the NFL license as slight setbacks to Reebok’s planned growth.

“The challenges between six years ago and the past 12 months are significantly different,” Becker said. “The news wasn’t good, but the bright side is that those are short-term problems that we can address.”

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