Apple Fitness Store has been operating under the core values of quality, integrity, and service for 25 years. How did we do it?
Apple Fitness Store would not be where it is today without its founder, Ken Harrison, who was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. Ken’s retail journey began in 1981 when he started working at a leading national drug store as its first male cashier. He later moved to one of Canada’s top department stores where he gained valuable experience in all aspects of sales and customer service. These companies gave him his first taste of what it means to run a store with quality, integrity, and outstanding service. They taught him how to handle face-to-face customer relations, how to handle money and manage inventory, and how to make the customers’ experience positive.
They groomed him for management positions by giving him challenges and increasing his responsibilities, growing his leadership capabilities. He helped in opening the new flagship store at West Edmonton Mall for a well-known and respected retailer. Taking an empty space and being part of making it a top retail environment was incredibly rewarding, and a priceless learning experience which helped influence the business leader he is today.
1988 marked his transition to the retail fitness industry, when he took a sales position with a fitness equipment store in Calgary. Taking lessons from his previous career experience and training, he started learning everything he could about the industry. He was determined to find the means of further building this burgeoning business market.
However, his employer did not share Ken’s standards of quality, integrity and service. Ken chose to resign rather than compromise his values. When the VPs of Paramount Fitness and Trotter Fitness heard that Ken was resigning they offered him the exclusive rights to sell their products in Alberta if he opened his own business. Thanks to help from Ken’s family, Apple Fitness Store Ltd. was born in May of 1992, and the first store opened in Edmonton later that year, with the Calgary store following just six months later.
Ken could now put into practice all his years of training and his belief in a foundation of quality, integrity and service. First by training and respecting the people around him, and then by delivering on all aspects of these foundations to our customers.
Apple Fitness Store’s first major job was a complete facility in Calgary and the first large facility a local group had ever sold and installed. Soon other US manufacturers like Life Fitness took notice of our growing success. It’s been over 23 years since Life Fitness asked us to become their exclusive dealer in Alberta.
We were able to enhance the overall customer service experience by partnering with top quality and respected fitness suppliers like Life Fitness, Hammer Strength, Keiser, Umax, and Cybex for service and sales training. Over the years we have continued to reinvest into our “Apple Advantage” customer support program. To this day Apple Fitness Store still has Western Canada’s largest parts and service department with certified factory trained technicians to serve our customers.
Ken’s core values to consistently provide our customers with excellent quality, integrity, and service are the heart of Apple Fitness Store Ltd. and the reason we have enjoyed 25 years of success through continued growth and improvement.
Apple Fitness Store has been a part of the community since 1993, and we would not have achieved our success without the support of our partners in the community. We believe it is our corporate responsibility to give back to that community and be a part of spreading the message for an active lifestyle to those who may not otherwise be able to participate. We cannot support every cause within the community, however, we do try and give a lot of thought to the ones we do support.
Throughout the year, we are proud sponsors of a number of community events, which are typically put on to raise funds for kids and school athletic programs. Whether it’s a golf tournament or conference, Apple Fitness Store is proud to support the efforts of the thousands of volunteers who are committed to improving the health of our neighbours.
The Apple Seed Program is designed to put quality new and used equipment into high-need / low-budget facilities. High Schools, fire halls, recreation centers, and hockey schools have all been the beneficiaries of the Apple Seed Program.