During the pandemic, many people turned to health and wellness to help cope with all the uncertainty.
Ryan Bell, owner of AKFIT Fitness Specialty Store since January 2021, said along with people being bored and unsure, those who were active suddenly had no outlet to do so.
“You couldn’t go out and play any sport because of social distancing and all the gyms and facilities were closed, so people who normally trained daily in facilities were forced into the house to make the most of what they had, ” Or, they looked to stores like ours to purchase the equipment to outfit their home just to get them through the next lockdown,” Bell said.
Today, Bell said after going through the pandemic, many people have realized that they enjoy the convenience of a home gym and have transitioned well to working out at home, and that trend is set to continue.
“Home gyms are now a main feature in many households. Going forward, homeowners will continue to invest in recreational home amenities,” he said.
New section: AK Outdoor
After 2 years of rigorous upgrades to the business infrastructure and the launch of many new products and services, Bell is delighted to announce Akfit’s newest division: AK Outdoors.
“The pandemic has emphasized to homeowners that your home is not just a place to eat and sleep. It is a place to work full-time, exercise and entertain.” Bell declared.
Akfit anchors this department by becoming Sudbury’s authorized dealer for NyDock Floating Dock Systems – a high-end dock manufacturer based in Huntsville, ON.
The addition of AK Outdoors aims to optimize life at home with additional leisure products and home amenities to entertain and relax with friends and family.
“It’s all part of enjoying the most of what the North has to offer by maximizing what you can do with your property,” Bell said. “Being able to relax and enjoy being at your own home is what makes it a home. We are very excited to be able to offer these new products with the same great service. Lakeside living is one of Sudbury’s number one benefits with all the waterfront we enjoy. Our docking solutions are an important part of that enjoyment by making lakeside life more accessible.”
Be sure to keep up with Akfit and see what they have to offer next with this new division in the coming months.
New solutions for the post-pandemic landscape
AKFIT Fitness Specialty Store has been a mainstay in Sudbury for over 30 years, selling fitness equipment and providing services to commercial and residential customers across the North.
They offer commercial and residential equipment sales across all categories of fitness to hundreds of customers, including supplying corporate offices, commercial gyms and facilities, schools, hospitals, hotels and apartments, to name a few.
Bell bought the business in January 2021, and while taking over a business during the height of Covid presented some unique challenges, he said it allowed him to combine his passion for business and fitness, while he updated the store from a 90s brick and mortar to modern establishment.
This included upgrading their website – three times to be exact in the last year alone – to ensure that their products and services remain as accessible through e-commerce as they were during the pandemic.
While Bell said they encourage ‘Try before you buy’, it’s important they can accommodate those who can’t make it into the store either due to distance or circumstances, offering options such as virtual consultations to find the best equipment . for each individual home or commercial space.
“Our entire business model is built around educating people with the best resources and information and then providing a customized service to find the best fit for them and their home or business,” he said.
Akfit has optimized the operation of all departments across the board, including delivery and service, which is invaluable to businesses and residential customers as the pandemic has left some with either outdated equipment they cannot afford to replace, or equipment to be repaired.
One challenge they are currently facing is the supply shortages due to backlogs in shipments. Bell said these supply constraints mean wait times are long and can be 12 to 16 weeks for unique pieces.
“With all the supply issues, we’ve now switched to Canadian-based suppliers where we can get goods and services faster which makes things easier for Canadians,” he said. “That means investing in local jobs and communities, so that’s a positive note, we’re looking more to our own backyard for suppliers of goods and services.”
A highly customized fitness shopping experience
For those who do come into the store, they will be greeted by friendly and knowledgeable staff who will help customers choose the equipment that best suits their needs. Bell said they always start the customer experience by asking questions, such as your experience level, your fitness goals and your budget.
“We definitely want to focus on that customized, tailored service, and finding what works for people, regardless of their experience level, and then figuring out solutions that match their budget and physical needs,” he said.
Bell said fitness and being active is something that applies to all ages and for individual reasons. Whether you’re a millennial who likes to stay in shape, an active family, a senior or someone in physical therapy, Akfit knows what equipment to suggest to align customers’ physical needs with their expectations to achieve the desired results.
To learn more about AKFIT Fitness and how they can help you achieve all of your fitness goals, call 705-560-1550, email email@example.com or visit their Facebook page for the latest information.