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The COVID-19 pandemic shuttered gyms and boutique fitness studios across the country for nearly two months and left 500,000 people out of work.
Meanwhile, quarantine has accelerated the at-home fitness trend, led by high-tech offerings from the likes of Peloton and Mirror.
Gyms and studios across the nation, already overwhelmed by a saturated market, are scrambling to keep customers loyal with virtual offerings and equipment rentals.
Devotees say ‘gym is church’ and that customers will come flocking back, but analysts aren’t so sure.
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The sharp smell of cleaning products fills a Gold’s Gym in San Antonio, Texas. Adam Zeitsiff, the fitness chain’s president and CEO, watches workers smiling beneath facemasks and waving with blue latex-gloved hands.

Zeitsiff said he was a bundle of excitement, nerves, and pride as he road tripped across the state to visit some of the locations that are preparing to reopen. Just two weeks prior, the global chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced it would permanently close 30 locations.

Gold’s Gym isn’t the only one struggling. After 38,000 fitness gyms and studios nationwide were forced to shut down, roughly $10 billion, or a third of fitness industry revenue, is expected to shift away from in-person to at-home options, investment bank Harrison Co. found in a survey. As for workers in the industry, 500,000 have been furloughed or laid off.

Zeitsiff believes workers and customers are happy to be back, even with the strange new circumstances. “You don’t normally walk into your gym with a mask on,” he said.

Gold’s Gym’s reopening has been a mixed bag. Seventy-five people lined up at 5am outside the Murfreesboro, Tennessee, location when it opened its …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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