Times are tough out there, but as the demand for at-home gym equipment sky-rocketed due to COVID-19, the early numbers are in and manufacturers have seen a boost in sales by 3,000 percent, according to AlphaFit’s Jamie Montesalvo.
It’s hard to imagine how but when fitness equipment manufacturers balance the books, it appears the shift in demand has actually hurt their bottom line.
What the brands are saying: Jamie Montesalvo owns and operates Alphafit, an Australian manufacturer of strength and conditioning equipment, everything from dumbbells, rigs, kettlebells and plyo boxes.
- “We have more of a predominantly commercial-based business but now with what’s happened it’s a lot more retail, meaning a lot more bumpers, kettlebells, home gym gear. Not something that we would generally do a lot of but it’s absolutely exploded,” he told the Morning Chalk Up.
Picture this: Before COVID-19, Alphafit’s warehouse rarely saw more than one or two people walking in for gear. “Now we’re getting 20 to 30 people a day inquiring about equipment,” Jamie said.
- “Since the COVID-19 has happened, we’ve seen a massive increase in the residential, your home consumer, but that’s not the core business. We’d probably see realistically a 50 percent reduction in our general revenue now that we’re no longer doing commercials,” he added.
The bottom line: It’s simply mathematics for manufacturers like Alphafit, Rogue and Again Faster, comparing the price of a few kettlebells to an entire gym kit. “So commercial coming back on board for us is something we want to happen sooner rather than later,” Jamie said.
The brands aren’t crying poor, far from it, with Rogue hiring hundreds of assembly and production staff to keep up with demand.
But Chris Partridge from Again Faster, Australia agrees, gyms reopening as soon as possible will benefit the entire industry.
- “70 percent of our business is to gyms and to gym owners and we really want to see that part of the business continue to thrive moving forward as well,” Chris Partridge said.
The prediction: Alphafit’s Jamie Montesalvo is convinced if they wait it out, the entire fitness industry will “explode” as soon as gyms reopen and life gets back to normal.
“Since this has happened I’ve seen a massive increase in the general public, who probably had very little interest in fitness, but now with their free time, their friends doing it, the social media that’s put out there, there’s just this massive interest now in fitness and health and wellbeing…When all this is over I am expecting to see an actual increase in commercial gym fitouts,” he said.
A message to gym owners: Jamie believes affiliate owners will prosper too, especially those who’ve taken this unique opportunity to sell off their old equipment at decent prices to cover costs and later upgrade, once all this is over.
- “What a lot of gyms have done is they’ve taken this opportunity to sell their staple equipment – bars, bumpers, kettlebells – stuff that’s been sitting around for 4, 5 years old, stuff there was still nothing wrong with but taking the opportunity now to sell it, get it out to their members, get their members training.”
- “Once members come back they’re going to have a better experience,” he added.
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