Americans Return to Gyms, Home Workout Interest Fades: Jefferies – .

Americans Return to Gyms, Home Workout Interest Fades: Jefferies – .

A client wears a face mask when lifting weights while training inside a Planet Fitness gym as the location reopens after being closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the March 16, 2021 in Inglewood, California.
Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images
As Covid restrictions loosen across the country, vaccines are injected into arms and fitness centers roll back mask-wearing policies, more people are returning to the gym, new research shows.
Jefferies has tracked visits to fitness channels such as Planet Fitness and 24 Hour Fitnes and has monitored online searches for gyms and digital fitness programs such as Peloton. While many Americans have invested in the latter during the health crisis, yearning to sweat at home, that demand appears to be waning.

Online searches for “gyms near me” accelerated in May compared to April, Jefferies found, returning to all-time highs dating back to January 2020. Jefferies said the search interest in finding a nearby gym mimics what is normally followed at the start of the new year – a time when many people commit to a healthier lifestyle. The company noted that searches for Crunch Fitness and Blink Fitness have rebounded the strongest among national gym chains, since the start of the year.

Traffic in fitness centers, meanwhile, has steadily improved throughout this year. Last month, Jefferies said, nationwide gym traffic was back to 83% of January 2020 levels, and down just 6% from the same period in 2019.

National traffic of the fitness center

Source: Jefferies, Safegraph

Gym visits appear to be highest in Georgia, Florida and Texas, where Covid restrictions have been lighter compared to many states in the northeast and along the west coast, Jefferies noted.

High-end fitness chain Equinox is the group’s biggest laggard, likely affected by its customers’ move to the suburbs, Jefferies added. Most of Equinox’s locations are in the New York area.

As more people leave home to return to the gym, searches for home fitness equipment and digital fitness players are moderating, according to Jefferies research. The company researched exercise balls, dumbbells, yoga mats, jump ropes, massage guns, weights, foam rollers, and exercise bikes. And interest has plummeted since last January.

Interest in home fitness equipment

Source: Jefferies, Safegraph
More and more internet users are visiting the websites of gym chains like Orangetheory Fitness – who are likely looking to renew a subscription or view a location’s mask policy – while traffic to workout platforms digital (like Tonal and NordicTrack) also slow down. Interest in home fitness equipment peaked in April 2020, Jefferies said, and has since fallen to a pandemic low.

“We believe people will use a hybrid approach, using the plethora of digital concepts and the traditional gym experience,” said Randy Konik, analyst at Jefferies. “Gyms that defend this model will emerge as winners in the years to come. “

Companies such as cycle maker Peloton and rowing machine maker Hydrow – which reaped incredible benefits from consumers looking for home workout equipment last year – are trying to find ways to keep it going. growing momentum. Peloton, for example, is expanding outside of the United States and continues to add new instructors and new content, like Pilates, to its roster.

Peloton shares are down more than 28% year-to-date, while Planet Fitness shares have fallen around 4% over the same period.


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