Online personal health minnow Fitbug (FITB:AIM) has bagged its biggest retail deals to date, sending its shares 350% (1.33p) higher to 1.7p. US retail giant Target (TGT:NYSE) and UK supermarket Sainsbury's (SBRY) will stock the micro cap's products in their wearables ranges from next month.
Fitbug is the self-styled online coaching services provider, helping people improve lifestyles by making modest changes to daily routines. Its activity tracking gadgets download to a Fitbug app and website, giving consumers an accurate picture of their daily activity achievements. Mobile and web technology provides consumers with personalised weekly activity and nutrition targets, as well as feedback, advice and encouragement.
Admittedly, today's surge is off of decidedly bombed-out levels, but the micro cap's biggest worldwide retail deals to date have got investors buzzing with excitement. Discount chain Target, one of Uncle Sam's biggest retailers, will stock Fitbug products in all its US stores and on its website from 9 November, the same date from which British supermarket Sainsbury's will stock its wares in 293 stores.
These retail deals and the associated price leap will be welcomed by investors who've seen the share price crumble. Fitbug, whose products also include Fitbug Orb, a Bluetooth Smart, wireless activity and sleep tracker and digital coaching product called KiQplan, has hitherto struggled to turn promise into hard cash and profits. It has also required numerous loans to top up its working capital coffers and fund product development.
Interim results (30 Sep) revealed a near-doubling in sales to £914,000, driven by increasing interest in the wearable technology space and a recent strategic switch of focus towards the retail sector, where the likes of Tesco (TSCO), Dixons Carphone (DC.) and RadioShack (RSH: NYSE) plan to stock its products.
However losses widened to £1.61 million (2013:1.05 million) due to increased investment in KiQplan's development, as well as the costs of legal action against rival player Fitbit, which the Aim minnow claims has infringed its trademark. A US trial date has been set for February.