The Telegraph
| Sunday, June 23, 2013 |


Launch Pad

Published on 28 June 2013

Sporting spree

  • The Fitting Studio at Reebok's Fit Hub boasts a huge wall-display of shoes and has on-and-off jumping boxes strewn around

Reebok India is going for a facelift — and how. The Adidas Group, the German sports goods major and the parent company — is pulling out all the stops to re-position itself as a premium fitness brand in India. It's firmly put the controversy that rocked Reebok India last year on the backburner (remember the Rs 870-crore scam?) and has come up with ambitious plans for reinventing and reviving itself. So, welcome to its new initiative — the interactive retail concept dubbed as Fit Hub.

You might just mistake these 'hubs' for well-outfitted gyms as they exude the look and feel of fitness studios. From the exposed beams and industrial ceilings to the recycled rubber mat flooring (like those found in gyms), the interiors seem inspired by the raw aesthetics of state-of-the-art gyms.

The Fit Hub concept has been quite a hit internationally and has been doing brisk business in the US, Australia, Korea and Russia. This month the company unveiled the concept in India with fit hubs in five locations — MGF Mall in Gurgaon and Crown Interiors Mall in Faridabad as well as two hubs in Chennai and another in Mumbai. While Reebok has transformed some of its existing stores into Fit Hubs, others have been built from scratch.

  • At the Interactive Storefront section you could bump into mannequins posing as athletes and sportsmen

"The response in India has been overwhelming in this short time," said Erick Haskell, managing director, Reebok India. "Our aim is to launch 100 Fit Hub stores across 11 markets in India by April 2014," he added. Up next are three more stores in Noida and one each in Chennai and Mumbai by the first week of July.

The major USP of the hubs is customised experience, adds Haskell. Set bang in the middle of the hub is a Fit Desk where shoppers can get advice on anything-they-want-to-know from the staff. And it doesn't end there —a certified trainer is at hand to offer valuable tips (from noon to 8pm) and help provide solutions to fitness-related queries. From helping customers decide on the equipment and sports apparel to buy to charting out a fitness regime — the trainer will tell all.

Haskell said: "The aim of the new format is to provide an appealing retail space in which to guide customers on fitness and help them meet their fitness goals."

Every Fit Hub has three key zones — The Interactive Storefront, a Story Floor, and a Fitting Studio. Even the mannequins in the Interactive Storefront imitate athletes in action! The Story Floor displays apparel for both men and women on pull-up bars (an exercise equipment) instead of regular shelves. The apparel is categorised under different sections like yoga, dance, running and more.

The Fitting Studio has a huge wall-display of shoes while the zone is complete with cross-fit training equipment like on-and-off jumping boxes used for speed training.