Fitness First sets up gym kit click & collect service

UK gym operator Fitness First is delivering kit and equipment straight to lockers in its gyms via a new click & collect service from pick-up, drop-off (PUDO) network Doddle.

Fitness First was acquired by Dave Whelan’s DW Sports Fitness in 2017, and the new fulfilment service is tied in with the group’s retail website. Consumers can order online for next-day delivery to a digit-secure locker at the gym.

Using Doddle’s technology, there’s an option to send back unwanted or wrong-sized kit via an automated returns pod, and the items will be picked up and taken back to a DW Sports’ store or warehouse.

Fitness First said the service gives its members the ability to act instantly on the expert recommendations they receive from personal trainers in the gym.

The new secure ‘Kit & Collect’ lockers are being trialled at three DW Fitness First locations in London – Cottons Centre, Fenchurch Street and Hammersmith. The plan is to roll out the service nationwide.

Although primarily offered to members, any customer buying from DW Sports can use the service because Fitness First views the link-up as a form of driving business across its channels, and encouraging more people to visit its gyms.

Lee Pinnington, retail director at DW Sports Fitness, said: “Being able to fulfil kit orders in the environment in which they’ll be used is a watershed moment.  

“It’s the ultimate realisation of our behaviour-first approach to retail. Today’s sports consumer wants to blend shopping seamlessly into their worlds, interests and lifestyles and Doddle’s automated fulfilment solutions, delivered in the gym environment, enable them to do just that.”

Doddle’s technology has been integrated into DW Sports’ website, and it can alert gym goers when their kit order is ready to try on or when an item has been successfully returned.

Meanwhile, it emerged this week that Doddle has been accepted on an accelerator programme in the US run by Plug and Play, an organisation that connects start-ups and tech companies to large corporations. Doddle launched its services in the US in January 2019, and is looking to build its network of PUDO partners.

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