September 12, 2022 – Fitness consumers are upending the demands they made two years ago in the darkest days of the coronavirus outbreak. pandemic.
Then, conventional wisdom told us that gyms were dying because people would rather stay home and work out than take risks in a gym. Fitness facility. Now, the opposite appears to be true, with membership sales and presences soaring again at many in-person companies, and those illustrious companies that work out at home struggling to save on more than an expensive clothes hanger in spare bedrooms.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has permanently disrupted the fitness industry. A third of traditional fitness sites are out of business permanently. Consumers stayed home, some with online training and others with shiny new brands that have become household names.
But the pandemic hasn’t been what it used to be, and it appears some of this disruption may lead to some lasting changes, but not in the way it initially seemed.
Fitness consumers win. They are gaining more choices, more flexibility, a return to pre-pandemic prices, and – observers hope – increased awareness that lifestyle habits directly affect our ability to stay strong in the face of health challenges, including new and exotic diseases.
The biggest one
No brand has been more associated with the pandemic than Peloton. Sophisticated home bikes have connected users with coaches and other participants around the world for group classes, competitions and more, creating an image of elite and somewhat self-adoring compared to sweating in the weight room.
The brand wanted to be the main source of disruption to the fitness world, and that’s been for some time.
It produced other high-tech home gym equipment, such as Tonal and Mirror. It has become so successful that it has been used as an instantaneous means of demonstrating the goal to startups, as in, “We’ll Be Peloton Knitting Home.” She even got involved in the world of “Sex and the City” when Carrie Bradshaw’s husband was murdered Heart attack during one use.
But now, the modern, cult-like magic is gone.
Peloton has reported losses for the company for 6 consecutive quarters, including a quarterly loss of $1.2 billion announced last month. The company has cut jobs, closed retail sites, started selling used equipment, and started selling products Amazon.
Some observers say the company may have had better luck in the long run without the temporary sales spurt that the pandemic has introduced.
“The pandemic-era glory days of Peloton are a distant memory now as they are scurrying around to stay afloat. Revenues plummet, losses widen, and shares of the connected fitness expert are down 92% from their all-time high in January 2021,” The Motley Fool mentioned.
(A Peloton spokesperson said the company was not available for an interview for this article.)
The company is not alone in the struggle.
SoulCycle Racing said last month it would close a quarter of its locations. Like a lot of fitness companies, SoulCycle had to shut down when the pandemic hit, and some didn’t to open.
“It is another indication that consumers’ exercise habits continue to change with the outbreak,” CBS mentioned.
Companies that make at-home exercise equipment are also struggling. NordicTrack’s parent company, iFit health And fitness, plans for an initial public offering were abandoned. Tonal, which has expanded with convenience stores in some Nordstrom locations, has cut a third of it staff.
Increased attendance at the gym
As the peloton trend withered, consumers returned to gyms and studios. They want to be among the people, have access to coaches, use more equipment than they can fit in their homes, and be challenged in new ways offered by new brands like Pure Wild.
For example, Planet Fitness, the leader in the low-cost chain, reported a 13.6% increase in sales in the second quarter of 2022, with a total membership of 16.5. million.
“Our expertise in affordable, high-quality fitness resonates now more than ever as Americans search for value and feel the rising costs of everyday items like food and gas,” CEO Chris Rondeaux says.
“We believe people will continue to prioritize their health and wellness as they become more cost-conscious, and we provide a welcoming environment for people of all fitness levels. During the second quarter, our trend of joining pre-pandemic seasonality returned with the addition of nearly 300,000 new net worths. Individuals.
The pandemic has left some new demands around hygiene, says Josh Leaf, CEO of the Fitness Business Association, an organization of gym and other fitness owners. professionals.
“What members want now isn’t about the best workout, the most equipment, or the most classes,” Lev says. “It will come down to whether or not I trust my health to you and your team.”
Hybrid workouts let you get both ways
He says the rise of “hybrid” options, which the shutdown has greatly boosted, will continue. This became a popular offering for the gym when the owners offered online training to their clients who were not allowed into the gym or studio during the closure.
“Previously, when these companies were looking to generate new revenue, they had to get more people to walk the door,” he says. “Now the opportunities are endless. People can join your studio but they can train remotely.”
And consumers won’t give up on that choice, says Chris Creator, CEO of IHRSA, a global trade organization serving fitness. industry.
“The hybrid type of physique is here to stay,” he says. Consumers like to have the option of being able to work out in a gym or studio from the comfort of their home or on a brick-and-mortar location. They’re used to it, with many office workers now hesitant to come back to spend 40 hours a week in the office.
“What we are seeing now is more people returning to clubs,” he says, noting the “lack of hesitation” from consumers about COVID. “Consumers just want to get back to exercising.”
Some want a very low price, as they find at Planet Fitness and other chains like it.
But they want something they can’t have at home: the social aspect of going to the gym or the studio. This is especially true for older consumers, he says.
“The benefits of being in person are invaluable, both from a technical perspective in training and from a sense of community,” says Rosa Colito, owner of Full Circle Fitness in Tustin, CA. “Our older demographic generally values and prefers to work personally to ensure safety, efficiency, and effectiveness.”
Strength training is another go-to for weightlifting, which generally requires a lot of heavy equipment and more space to use than many homes provide. Some clubs even reduce the space for cardio machines so you can offer more weight lifting and other options, he says.
The main idea is to get people moving regularly to improve their lives and public health issues like obesity and medical costs – whether at home or at the gym.
Consumer needs are changing, as the pandemic has demonstrated dramatically for fitness and other industries.
New Pelotons were hard to find. Now selling a used one can be a challenge.
On Facebook, Peloton Buy Buy Trade (BST) Group Claims Over 200,000 Individuals.
Nurse Olivia Hilton bought a Peloton in 2020 at a discount for healthcare workers, spending $3,000 “on this bike that collected dust,” she recently told New York times.
She sold it on Facebook after she lowered the price from $1,500 to $1,200.
I felt guilty for selling it. But in the end, she said she decided to “take the thing out of your house if you don’t want it anymore.”