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Give Them What They Want: Hometown Gym Feel Helps Metro Fitness Lead in Gym Retailing

Metro Fitness has made its home in the Central Ohio community for 27 years. Its seven locations have led the industry in fitness and retail by providing top of the line equipment and a convenient, hometown feel through high class customer service.

“It’s more personal than a bigger gym,” said Group Fitness Director Jill Doge. “It’s important for us to know everybody’s name. It’s more of a family feeling.”

The friendly customer service is second only to what the gym offers its clients. At the top of the list is the fitness equipment, which Doge orders from ELIVATE™ for all the classes and the gyms.

“It’s very important,” said Doge. “There’s a definite science to it.”

Doge said each of the seven Metro Fitness locations has its own fitness personality and ordering equipment lines up to each one.

“In Worthington, there’s a lot of weight lifting, so we order a lot of those machines. In Delaware, we offer the best free weights in Ohio,” said Doge. “Also, the group programs aimed at active older adults are huge and that equipment consists of more exercise tubes and stability balls.”

The equipment is then set up in a specific way that speaks to how clients should be training their muscle groups. For example, the arm circuit is designed to work one specific muscle group, like triceps, before moving to the next. Same with legs. And for those who are uncertain about the correct form, staff is willing and ready to help.

“We have trainers all day who can stop and assist to show the correct and safe way to do it,” said Doge. “We take the time to walk you through the equipment and show you the correct way to do it.”

And following that tough workout on top-shelf equipment, Metro Fitness clients have an opportunity to refuel with the various retail snacks and drinks offered at the seven locations.

“Each of our gyms have protein bars, protein powders, and other drinks,” said Doge.

The biggest seller, by far, is water, according to Tina Pelle, corporate administrator in charge of supplying the retail items. She said it’s the most popular item on their retail list, “Cases and cases.”

“We also sell a lot of pre-workout drinks, protein drinks, powders,” said Pelle.

Pelle said some of the locations also sell a variety of nutritional supplements.

“It’s a variety of items,” she said, adding t-shirts and some clothing are also in the mix.

The variety boils down to helping members feel at home and comfortable that their needs can be met at the gym.

“If they’re coming in for a lunch workout and going back to the office and didn’t want to go get something to eat, they can grab a drink or a bar and there you go, it’s lunch,” she said.

But most of all, it’s just about showing clients that you care.

“We have our core groups and they definitely form friendships,” said Doge. “You get to know people, for sure. And, that’s the most important thing.”

To learn more about incorporating gym retailing into your business, check out our Top 10 Tips for Retailing in Your Gym.

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