Johnson Health Tech (JHT) is launching a high-end range of home cardio fitness equipment under the Matrix brand, which will become available in some European countries in the next few weeks.
The Taiwanese group’s target is to turn Matrix into the leading brand in the premium home equipment segment. JHT estimates this category at about 13% of the global fitness retail market, and its goal is to capture about 25% of this business.
The Matrix home range includes treadmills, ellipticals, bikes and ascent trainers, targeted at specialty retailers. “It borrows functionality, design and features from our commercial line but it is optimised for a home environment,” explains Patty Parrott, senior director of global marketing. The product development team has been working on the range for the last three years, JHT said.
While it has been using the Matrix brand to expand in the commercial fitness market, JHT is already selling home fitness equipment under the Vision Fitness and Horizon Fitness brands. The company says there is no overlap with the Matrix range of home gear, which is fully equipped with the latest consoles and frame technology. However, the Taiwanese group does intend to phase out a few Vision products in the year ahead.
The Matrix home range is meant to be offered in all European markets covered by the group, although the width of the range may vary from one country to the other. Some of the Matrix home fitness gear was already displayed earlier this year at the ISPO trade fair in Munich, where the full launch for the German market will take place next year. The British subsidiary should join the push a little later, probably in the second half of next year, due to the fact that it quit selling home equipment gear in 2013 and thus has to rebuild the required distribution infrastructure.
The range was already launched in the U.S. market, where JHT has strongly invested in the retail market with two acquisitions. 2nd Wind Equipment, which had 58 stores in eleven states, was bought in November 2015. Then, in June, the group snapped up Leisure Fitness, which had 27 stores on the East Coast.
JHT says it has turned into the largest fitness retailer in the world, which makes it all the more compelling to complement its range with a premium home offering. The two U.S. acquisitions and the roll-out of own stores, mostly in Asian markets, has turned its retail business into a global network of about 315 stores.
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