The re­wards of the fit­ness move­ment

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - Holiday Planner and Gift Guide -

Be­ing ac­tive pays off, points out Ginny Mé­nard. That is why the co-owner of G&S Tech-Tron­ics in Alexan­dria hopes to re­ceive a Fit Bit as a Christ­mas present this year. “I need mo­ti­va­tion to get up and move,” she says.

The mo­bile de­vice would pro­vide en­cour­age­ment for her to get away from her desk, and help her take ad­van­tage of a gov­ern­ment funded phys­i­cal fit­ness ini­tia­tive.

Ear­lier this year, On­tario joined the fed­eral gov­ern­ment as a spon­sor of the Car­rot Re­wards smart­phone app, which tracks users’ steps and of­fers quizzes and tips on healthy liv­ing.

When users reach their step ob­jec­tives, they earn points from re­ward pro­gram such as Aero­plan, Petro-Points, More Re­wards, or Cine­plex’s Scene.

“A lot of peo­ple have not heard about Car­rot Re­wards,” says Mrs. Mé­nard, who will sign up for the pro­gram along with G&S em­ployee Jennifer Wat­son.

How­ever, many peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly teenaged girls, have heard of Fuji’s Instax mini in­stant film cam­eras. The groovy idea is a throw­back to Po­laroid tech­nol­ogy, which was the rage when the young buy­ers were not even born.

Equipped with a selfie mir­ror, the de­vices are es­pe­cially pop­u­lar among girls aged 10 and up. The com­pact cam­eras come in a wide range of dif­fer­ent colours while the in­stant prints are avail­able in var­i­ous mo­tifs. Boys, mean­while, are still re­ally into gam­ing sys­tems.

Tenth an­niver­sary

This year marks the tenth an­niver­sary of the found­ing of G&S Tech-Tron­ics by Ginny and Stéphane Mé­nard. The busi­ness was started by his par­ents, Reina and the late Daniel Mé­nard.

For Mrs. Mé­nard, the busi­ness has been her in­tro­duc­tion to re­tail. “There is a lot of learn­ing. That’s OK. This is al­ways chal­leng­ing and en­joy­able,” she says.

While on­line shop­ping is much more preva­lent than it was a decade ago, vir­tual will never re­place the phys­i­cal store. Many con­sumers have their pur­chases de­liv­ered di­rectly to their homes while oth­ers have their on­line pur­chases shipped to the store.

“It’s safer than hav­ing a valu­able item dropped off at a house in the mid­dle of the day,” notes Mrs. Mé­nard.

Sev­eral cus­tomers opt for the full store ex­pe­ri­ence. “There are still a lot of peo­ple who want to come in, look at the var­i­ous prod­ucts, ask ques­tions. They want to deal with a real per­son.”

An­other more re­cent trend has been Cana­di­ans’ adop­tion of Black Fri­day as a time when shop­ping kicks into over­drive.

“Af­ter Black Fri­day we are open seven days a week un­til Christ­mas,” says Mrs. Mé­nard.

FIT­NESS PAYS: in Alexan­dria. Ginny Mé­nard and Jennifer Wat­son with the Fit Bit dis­play at G&S Tech-Tron­ics

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