Can Focusing on Fitness Help Flagging Retailers?


Maybe two’s a trend — both Sears and Gap Inc. are turning to fitness to drum up business.  Could appealing to consumers’ health help sales?  Sears is using its position as the number one fitness equipment retailer to reach out to customers, while Gap is launching its first-ever campaign for its Athleta brand.

FitStudio represents Sears’ online editorial end of its focus on fitness.

Both retailers have faced recent troubles — Sears will be closing stores and Gap experienced disappointing holiday numbers.  It should be interesting to see how their new initiatives impact future sales.  Sears will be furthering its fit image through branded media, building up original editorial content on the topic of health and fitness.  The approach is part of a joint brick-and-mortar and online effort, with the company looking to add Fitness Flagship stores across the country while also developing FitStudio, its site devoted to exercise and run by experts and bloggers on the topic.

One look at Athleta’s empowering “Power to the She” ad campaign.

Gap Inc., meanwhile, will launch Athleta’s “Power to the She” campaign, marketing to their female customer base across a variety of channels, including web, print, and social media.  With the 2012 Summer Olympics just around the corner, are Gap and Sears actually tapping into the zeitgeist?  We expect, for both retailers, that exploring the fitness slant to appeal to shoppers — particularly at this point in time — will pay off.

5 Responses to “Can Focusing on Fitness Help Flagging Retailers?”

  1. Jim

    Personally, I think the big retailers should leave the fitness focus to those who focus only on fitness, but it is good to see products to aid in health improvement become readily available. The problem is that what I have seen in these stores is of low quality. I fear that people getting discouraged and dropping the idea of fitness altogether may be the result. People need programs and tools they can progress with, including ongoing guidance and support and I do not see big retailers being capable of offering this.

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