Nautilus Surfaces at Amazon

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The Nautilus Group Inc. announced that its fitness products will be sold on Amazon.com's new sporting goods store at Amazon.com/sportinggoods.


Amazon.com will offer all Nautilus, Schwinn Fitness, StairMaster, Bowflex and Trimline products. Neither firm revealed financial details or the timing of the deal.


This will be the first time that Nautilus commercial equipment and accessories, the Schwinn line and the Trimline Treadmill line have been made available direct-to-consumer online, said Randy Potter, president of the Vancouver, WA, company's direct division.


However, Potter said, 25 percent of The Nautilus Group's direct business is from online sales of lines such as Bowflex and Nautilus Sleep System.


Potter added that Nautilus has moved to head off channel conflict by giving dealers a cut of some sales made in their areas, such as sales of products requiring delivery or installation.


"It's on a product-by-product basis," he said.


The deal with Amazon is not exclusive. Potter would not say whether Nautilus is negotiating with other Web merchants.


The Amazon announcement follows one last week that Nautilus laid off an unspecified number of employees to reduce expenses and that it expects the move to save $4 million in annual pre-tax savings.


For the third quarter, the company said, it will record a restructuring charge of $200,000. The staff reduction amounts to 8 percent of its current labor costs.


"While the company enjoys a very strong financial position, we continually review the performance of our business segments, facilities and products," president/CEO Gregg Hammann said in a statement. "While we currently face a challenging business environment, we are clearly focused on our long-term corporate growth opportunities."


Nautilus uses infomercials, response mailings, the Internet and inbound/outbound call centers to sell its products.


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