Inbound Logistics | April 2022


The Peloton Bike+ is the subject of legal battles.

TREADMILL MARKET NOT STANDING STILL Among the oldest exercise equipment categories is the treadmill market, and they remain a popular choice in fitness- minded homes and the health clubs where rows of the machines have long been such a familiar sight, finds a report from Allied Market Research. The report shows that the global treadmill market was valued at $3.2 billion in 2020 and is forecast to climb to $5.9 billion by 2030, enjoying a compound annual growth rate of 5.1%. Treadmills represent the highest-selling exercise equipment category in the fitness industry, “well ahead of others,” according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. The treadmill industry now includes hundreds of manufacturers globally, estimates Allied Market Research. Although the category encompasses both manual and electronic treadmills, the treadmill industry is dominated by the electronic-based products. Users have come to expect treadmills that provide sophisticated measurements and guidance, helping them understand the nuances of their workouts and the effort they are putting into them. Treadmills were among the fitness categories to see increased demand when the pandemic arrived and pushed many consumers to seek personal pieces of fitness equipment for their homes. Still, the commercial segment of the global treadmill market remains much larger than the residential segment, according to Allied Market Research. The specialty store segment reigns over franchise and online stores among distribution channels. Allied Market Research points to that segment’s advantages in providing consumers with more detailed expert guidance. However, online stores are expected to be the fastest-growing segment through 2030 as e-commerce becomes increasingly popular and simple for customers to use.

PELOTON PEDALS IT BACK Perhaps no home product will be more associated with the pandemic than the stationary bike, particularly the one made by Peloton. The company’s fortunes have fallen since demand exploded in the first year of the pandemic, and it has faced an array of challenges. In one of the latest legal efforts surrounding the competing home-fitness equipment companies, NordicTrack’s maker iFit Health & Fitness has filed a U.S. trade complaint seeking to block imports of Peloton Interactive’s stationary bikes The case centers on the Peloton Bike+ stationary bikes that alternate between bicycling and weight lifting. InMay 2021, iFit was issued a patent for an invention involving stationary bikes that have free-weight cradles. The company uses the invention in several studio bike models. In its complaint, filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission, iFit says, “The unauthorized use of patented inventions by Peloton is pervasive,” reports the American Journal of Transportation (AJT) . Peloton and iFit already have a legal case over patents in federal court, but AJT notes that the U.S. International Trade Commission tends to work faster than district courts and has the authority to stop products from crossing the U.S. border, which could create a major headache for Peloton. The company’s Taiwan-based manufacturers, Tonic Fitness and Rexon Industrial Corp., are also named in the complaint. The case is not the only one before the trade commission involving Peloton and iFit. Both are accused, along with Mirror owner Lululemon Athletica, of infringing patents for streaming video over the internet by Dish Network Corp. and its Sling TV. In March 2022, CNBC reported on Peloton’s efforts to overcome the struggles it has faced since the surge in the pandemic’s early days, including declining demand for at-home workout products and heightened supply chain expenses. The company’s stock shares dropped 80% over 12 months and it replaced its CEO early in 2022.

Treadmills represent the highest-selling exercise equipment category.

April 2022 • Inbound Logistics 15

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