Officials of Icon Health & Fitness would not comment on a new project that would incorporate the Nike+ system, developed with Apple’s iPod, into some of its own treadmills. They indicated, however, that Icon will unveil a major innovation in fitness clothing under its Pro-Form brand for the European market at the Arabella Sheraton Hotel in Munich during the next ISPO show. They declined to provide additional details.
Icon presented a specific apparel line for the European market at ISPO a few years ago, but that initiative misfired, apparently because the product was not ready and the pricing structure was confusing. This time Icon has decided to use its experienced development team from Canada, which already puts out an apparel line for the North American market, and it has hired a knowledgeable executive as European product manager for clothing.
The executive, Claire Le Compagnon, previously worked for Reebok. She has started to put together a specific European collection of Pro-Form fitness clothing that should be delivered starting next April onward. It will be offered along with items from the Canadian collection, which has already been ordered by some selected European customers of Icon.
Icon Europe, whose top management is now based in France, is targeting total sales of €75 million for the year ending next May 31, up from less than €70 million in the past one, where it made a profit for the second time in a row. The bulk of its sales is through its own subsidiaries. About one-fourth of the total turnover is in France, where it includes sales to Décathlon for the whole European market. Icon recently decided to farm out its distribution in the tough German market to Schmidt Sport and is using its former German office to deal with this and other importers. A new distributor has been signed up for the Greek market.