When Covid-19 was first detected in December in China, no one would have predicted that the viral disease would turn the world upside down in a few short months. It has confined people to their homes, shut down most industries, and there is more plummeting down the rabbit hole as pandemic continues to rage. The airline, tourism, automobile, and oil industries have taken quite a beating. Not so surprisingly, gym equipment makers, on the other hand, are grappling to fulfill such an unexpected surge in demand.
As the government announced the closure of all non-essential services, including gyms and health clubs, the fitness industry experienced its own set of woes in a short time.
However, there is light at the end of every tunnel, many strove to light up the tunnel as well since the closure of these services was expected to last until the novel coronavirus wreaked havoc. Therefore, as people quarantined themselves at home, many fitness brands and others experimented with new and creative ways in which they could deliver their services safely amid dangerous circumstances.
Along with it there was a spike in Internet demand as well. Consequently calls to customer services departments such as Spectrum Internet Customer Services skyrocketed as the need for unrestricted data allowance and adequate download speeds arose in order to consume improved fitness content and access online support.
Impact of Covid-19 on the Fitness Industry
In the past few months, the fitness industry has undergone heavy financial losses as thousands of training clubs and gyms closed down due to the viral pandemic. Many health-conscious individuals wonder how they can continue to maintain their health and fitness without the usual face-to-face interactions with a trainer and the motivating environment of a fitness club, while business owners and their staff have been struggling to stay buoyed up financially.
A lot of gym owners like 24 Hour Fitness have refused a refund of membership fees and cancellations during their closure, whereas others, such as Crunch has halted the collection of membership fees and due balances until their business opens up again.
Regardless of their approach, economic circumstances have hit hard as gym staff and private trainers cannot do anything about their out-of-work status. Many gyms such as 24 Hour Fitness and Solidcore laid off the majority of their workforce as they suffered financial losses due to lack of sales.
That’s just the gloomy side of the coin, let’s discuss the silver-lining many businesses have seen through the digital world. Now gyms and training clubs around the world are offering virtual online classes, live streams, and even one-on-one sessions via zoom meetings.
Barry’s Bootcamp converted their garage into a simulation of their popular ‘red rooms’ in mere 48 hours to live-stream classes on their Instagram feed. Similarly, Women’s World of Boxing had to make a virtual shift from their well-established brick-and-mortar facility in 10 days in the wake of social distancing measures. Nike Inc.’s Run Club app started offering its all premium guided workouts for free in its app.
Initially many of the businesses offered access to fitness content free of cost, but as financial losses reared their head, many began to monetize in order to cushion those losses. The fitness company Beachbody showed a 200% growth in subscribers as they moved to virtual classes, which is equivalent to around 1.5 million subscriptions.
Sky-High Demand for Gym Equipment
As people remain restricted to their homes, many have turned towards exploring the right way to workout at home in order to maintain both their health and sanity. During Covid-19, the market for weight training equipment rose by a whopping 307%.
The initial weeks were fraught with panic and frenzy as many rushed towards stocking up what they could as they went into quarantine. The gym equipment was among those few items that quickly went out of stock as fitness fanatics rushed to buy equipment, declaring the gym equipment industry to be one of those few that would thrive during this pandemic, that is if it fulfilled the demand well.
Top three fitness items that experienced sky-high sales during these times were dumbbells, kettlebells, and resistance bands, as fitness experts prescribed their efficacy.
Peloton stocks soared high by nearly 50% in the past couple of months despite canceling their treadmill orders as they required in-home installation, but it cranked up its bike manufacturing to meet its demand. The company even proffers weekly live sessions, motivational instructors, and on-demand biking trails.
Fitness Companies Who Went a Step Further
The unexpected change in demand left many companies scrambling to find ways to stay connected with their customers, which left little time for proactivity or anything remotely ambitious. However, there were many fitness brands that went a step further and effectively adjusted to the new era of the fitness world.
Under Armor went philanthropic in its approach by pledging millions in charity along with its launch of 30-day fitness challenge on its app, MyFitnessPal. The company promised to donate $1 for every subscription they get via this program. New Balance switched to the production of face masks instead of sports gear along with their $2 million donations.
Equinox launched a streaming app called Variis, where members can discover every workout under the sun. Gold Gym’s started a hashtag #StrongerTogether, which encouraged users to share their home workout plans on social media, fostering a sense of community.
What the Future Beholds
As weeks progressed into months, many states are opening up non-essential business services including the health clubs and gyms, but a lot of wariness surrounds the recent decision despite businesses marketing a safe and hygienic environment that fully cooperates with SOPs.
So far the future remains uncertain, but one thing is clear– it has changed its course forever, giving rise to new trends that will stay with us for quite a while.
Baldwin Jackson is a successful digital marketer with expertise in search engine optimization and content marketing. The perfect balance of his analytical ability and creative thinking is what sets him apart from other practitioners in the digital marketing realm. He has helped a lot of small and medium-sized businesses in crafting their digital marketing strategies that are not only cost-effective but delivers results as well.
Baldwin is also a proud father of two kids and a Sports enthusiast. When he is not working, you will find him watching ESPN and NFL network. He has been able to get an amazing package on his favorite channels from Buytvinternetphone.com.