Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images
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
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
“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.