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Octane Fitness Experiences Growth during Recession

Octane Fitness Experiences Growth during Recession

Octane Fitness LLC hasn’t let the recession stop its growth. Its revenue rose 15 percent in 2010 to $40 million. The company recently moved to a new building to accommodate new staff and its growing research and development efforts.

From 2009 to 2010, Octane Fitness, Brooklyn Park, MN, introduced nine new standing and seated elliptical cross trainers, hired nine new employees and moved to a new building that is double the size of its old building. This year, the company plans to hire seven to nine more employees and introduce six new products.

“Our exclusive focus on ellipticals drives our business,” says Dennis Lee, Octane’s president and CEO. “And our ability to deliver equipment attributes that people want and products that meet their needs has helped us thrive, despite widespread economic challenges.”

Octane was founded in 2001 by Lee and Tim Porth in Lee’s basement in suburban Minneapolis. The company now has 44 employees in the United States, seven international staff members, an office in the United Kingdom and a subsidiary in The Netherlands.

Initially, Lee and Porth focused mostly on the home equipment market but began adding commercial equipment later. As consumer sales began decreasing due to the recession, Lee and Porth, who is executive vice president of product development and marketing, accelerated their plans for growth in the commercial and international markets. Those markets accounted for 35 percent of Octane’s revenue last year. Part of that growth came when Snap Fitness and Gold’s Gym added Octane as a preferred vendor for their franchisees.

Some of the company’s best-selling products are its Cross Circuit model, which allows users to do strength training along with cardio. This product was introduced at the Club Industry show last year. The xRide seated elliptical also is popular.

Despite Octane’s growth, it still hasn't hit the same level as some of the larger commercial equipment manufacturers. Precor had 2010 sales of $276.7 million. Life Fitness had 2010 sales of $541.9 million. However, the increases for both these companies (6 percent and 9 percent, respectively) were less than Octane’s 15 percent growth in 2010.

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