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Value Proposition: Celáre

Locker rooms celebrate CeláreThere was a hole in the existing club locker product line... and Digilock decided that it had the experience and expertise to fill it 

Sometimes, relatively simple observations yield exciting new ideas.

While Digilock, based in Petaluma, California, has been a staple in the lock industry since 1981, providing state-of-the-art solutions, it wasn’t until 2011 that, noticing an unaddressed need in a related market, it decided it was time to diversify.

Today, as a result, Digilock not only continues to sell a wide range of locks, but also manufactures and markets the Celáre brand of high-quality lockers for health and fitness facilities. The firm has never had occasion to regret its decision.

“Almost from the beginning, we worked with other locker manufacturers, installing our locks on their equipment,” recalls Marcy Ream, the vice president of sales and marketing. “After having acquired a great deal of experience in that arena, we noticed that no one was offering a higher-end, furniture-quality, metal locker for health clubs. We also realized that the many, proliferating ‘drop-in’ workout venues—bootcamps, yoga and Pilates studios, etc.—needed a durable locker that complemented the design and aesthetics of those environments.”

But why did it take Digilock 30 years to discover that lockers-with-locks were sort of the flip side of locks-for-lockers?

The company, Ream explains, had focused primarily on lock research and development, refining and upgrading its existing product line. That family of brands now includes its Digilock Electronic Lock Systems, LockUp and NEXT Turnkey Locker Solutions, and Numeris Furniture Lock Systems. 

"However," she says, "as our lock product matured over several generations, and as we did more outbound marketing in the fitness industry, we recognized an opportunity to transform the Digilock solution into a turnkey one-one that included the locker." The company had tested the notion a few years earlier, in 2008, when it introduced LockUp, a personal storage solution for businesses with shift employees.

“What we learned from LockUp helped us to develop Celáre.”

The LockUp experience taught Digilock what it took to produce bundled, “all-in-one” products that can be shipped, assembled, ready to position and use ... with locks in place. Celáre employs the same philosophy and process, but with an upscale twist. 

The Celáre concept

From the outset, Digilock was seeking a different look and feel for the new Celáre line.

Its goal was to create a product that offered solid security, real durability, and, at the same time, looked more like a piece of fine furniture than your standard, utilitarian locker. It started with a metal body and a glass door, but now, the doors can easily be switched out when a club changes its design or color palette, and a wide range of trim and accessories is available. Among them: steel and mirror end panels, interior hooks and coat rods, and metal or glass doors in an array of colors to complement any setting.

The doors provide complete perimeter coverage, with reinforced frames affording extra security. The lockers’ heavy-gauge steel bodies are engineered to withstand constant use in demanding environments. And, all Celáre lockers utilize Digilock electronic locks, which feature a solid-metal lock housing, tamper guards, reinforced latching, and a manager bypass key for easy, efficient lock management.

“It’s a truly ‘plug-and-play’ solution,” suggests Ream. “Celáre lockers arrive at the site fully assembled in one- or two-wide configurations. The Digilocks are already installed, and only need to be programmed to use.”

Like appearance, security, and durability, sustainablity is another core Celáre concern. The components used are recyclable, and the lockers offer flexibility and long lifetime value. “We hope that, given the easy door changes, the lifespan of these lockers will exceed that of other companies’ locker products,” says Ream. “And, with Digilock in place, facilities can provide a ‘shared’ locker solution; a locker can be used by one person for a short period of time, and then be free to be used by someone else later in the day. Fewer lockers are required when clubs don’t have to issue them on a long-term basis.” 

Quality and cost

Ream concedes that the Celáre units may be more expensive than traditional metal, welded and riveted athletic lockers, but quickly points out that they’re less expensive than their wood, laminate, or phenolic counterparts. “It’s a middle pricepoint, but the quality is as high as that of anything else that’s available. Our objective was to offer clubs and other fitness facilities an alternative to traditional products—one that already includes an outstanding lock solution.”

The pricing strategy is meant to keep Celáre in the ballpark when potential buyers evaluate their options, and Digilock locks, of course, remain available for any other type of locker. “We just want to be among the choices if the benefits Celáre offers fit the user profile and the design solution,” notes Ream.

While Digilock doesn’t release specific numbers, clients are making plans for larger installations six to 24 months in advance, and smaller clubs are buying in, too. Sales for the line may triple or even quadruple during the 2013 fiscal year.  

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