Inbound Logistics | April 2022

Fitness & Exercise Equipment

PANDEMIC GIVES FITNESS FIELD A WORKOUT Like most industries, the fitness equipment field changed dramatically when the pandemic struck. In particular, sales of fitness gear, gadgets, and apparel soared in 2020 as consumers stuck at home and locked out of gyms invested heavily in new equipment for their homes. “As soon as the lockdowns took effect, the home-fitness business took off like wildfire,” Matt Powell, vice president and senior industry adviser for the NPD Group told the Washington Post last year. Health and fitness equipment revenue more than doubled to $2.3 billion, from March to October 2020, according to NPD data. Some manufacturers, in fact, struggled to keep up with demand, particularly as sales of stationary bikes tripled and sales of treadmills jumped 135%, according to the Post . Dumbbells also saw a sharp sales spike. The trend also extended beyond exercise-style equipment, leading to increases in the purchases of products such as bicycles, kayaks, and cross-country skis. Meanwhile, gyms suffered major initial losses and operational challenges amid widespread shutdowns that particularly put pressure on those already struggling. Gold’s Gym, 24 Hour Fitness, and Town Sports International, the owner of the New York Sports Clubs and Lucille Roberts chains, all filed for bankruptcy protection in 2020. More than 9,000 gyms, clubs, and studios closed for good as a result of the pandemic, estimates Mark Williamson, co-founder of ClubIntel. As vaccinations became available and gym doors reopened, fitness center numbers began to rebound. The home gym will never replace retail gyms, which will always offer the advantage of a social environment and a wide assortment of sophisticated equipment, notes Joanna Zeng O’Brien, a Moody’s analyst who covers the fitness industry. For most equipment manufacturers, serving both home and retail gym markets is nothing new. But many gyms extended their presence into the home market as a result of the pandemic with apps that help members work out away from the facility. “There is the convenience of working out from home, but people also want to go to physical locations. People miss that,” O’Brien says. “Fitness companies that want to stay around and not become obsolete have to do both.”

Planet Fitness is one fitness club company that has thrived in recent years, growing from 918 locations in 2014 to more than 2,200 in 2021.


Here's a sampling of statistics about the fitness equipment industry, compiled by RunRepeat and other sources, that helps to illustrate its status today. • The fitness equipment industry is estimated to be worth $11.3 billion as of 2021, up 11% from 2020. • The fitness equipment industry is projected to be worth anywhere from $14.7 to $21.1 billion by 2028. • One of the biggest growth markets globally is China, which is expected to have a 16% compound annual growth rate in the industry from 2021 to 2027. • Consumer fitness equipment sales grew 68.4% from $3.3 billion in 2010 to $5.6 billion in 2020. • At-home fitness equipment sales shot up 218% in 2021. • By 2024, cardio equipment such as treadmills, ellipticals, and recumbent bikes will make up 65% of the total fitness market. • Online fitness is expected to grow by 33% year-on-year, making it a $6-billion slice of the annual fitness industry by 2027, according to Uday Anumalachetty, divisional vice president at FitnessOnDemand. • Planet Fitness is the largest fitness center (in terms of members) in the world, with more than 2,200 clubs, primarily in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

14 Inbound Logistics • April 2022

Powered by