Everything started from his own innovation, and now the product range covers almost 300 products


From idea to business For operating businesses Relocate to Lahti region Wellbeing & Sports Internationalisation 6.2.2018

Gymstick International is an inspiring success story from Lahti, with a product range that covers almost 300 different fitness and wellness products. Gymstick, a product developed by Risto Kasurinen in his garage, has sold almost a million units.

Gymstick International Oy’s success story started almost by accident. Kasurinen, who has a degree in sports management and has previously worked in the development of Nordic walking, among other things, created a prototype of a fitness stick equipped with rubber bands for his company, which was called Viremestarit Oy at the time. The idea was to use the device to educate and train customers, but once the test batch of 500 units sold out almost overnight, they decided to start developing and selling the product to a larger audience. Today, the company founded by Kasurinen and his business partner, CEO Miika Vesalainen, is a global operator that competes with the largest sports product companies in the world.

‘In half a year, Gymstick had become our primary product, and we started subcontracting its manufacture. Viremestarit became Gymstick International, and now, after fifteen years, we have sold almost a million Gymsticks. Our product range also includes 300 other products, and we distribute products to about 40 different countries. Pretty good for a company that was started almost by accident,’ Development Manager Kasurinen says with a laugh.

Everything started from his own innovation, Gymstick, which has now sold almost a million units.
Although Gymstick’s products are available in Finland through both department stores and sports stores, internationality has been Gymstick’s strength and goal from the very beginning. Today, the product is sold in over 40 countries, and the company is focused on gaining new customers in them, for example through local online shops.

Well-being from Lahti to the world

‘Lahti is the perfect place for Gymstick. The costs remain in check, and the logistics work well. For example, we have roughly 200,000 products stored here, and if we maintained an inventory of the same size in the Helsinki Metropolitan area, the fixed costs of storage would probably be three times larger. From here, we have quick and easy access to the international market. We can transport the products abroad just as agilely from here as from Helsinki. Gymstick employs 15 people here in Lahti,’ Kasurinen comments.

People’s interest in training and well-being continues to increase – they have the time and money to train. The demand for various fitness equipment and products is on the rise, and they must be increasingly accessible.

‘Two years ago, we opened our own online shop, treenikauppa.fi, which sells Gymstick’s own products as well as products of our competitors. Opening the shop was a very good decision that has paid off excellently in terms of sales. The traditional retail sector is undergoing a transition, and consumers almost demand for an online shop to be available. It’s good customer service to provide a comprehensive purchasing experience in which the products and brands support each other. People are interested in well-being and fitness,’ Kasurinen says. ‘Coaching and fitness services are still a solid part of our business. In 2008, they were separated into their own unit, which employs 5 full-time and 30 part-time employees.’

‘Lahti is the perfect place for Gymstick. The costs remain in check, and the logistics work well.’

‘In the future, we’ll develop the company and products further. We’re doing well and haven’t had even one unprofitable year, so we must have done something right,’ Kasurinen continues happily.

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Gymstick International Oy is a Finnish, international manufacturer of sports equipment that sells products to over 40 countries. Its product range includes over 300 products. The company was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Lahti.

www.gymstick.fi | Gymstick on Instagram

Three good reasons to operate in the Lahti region?

1. Great and short transport connections to the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.

2. Affordable fixed costs.

3. Beautiful nature near the city’s services.

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