Peloton or the gym? Most people are choosing both. Investors had made a bet that consumer fitness was an either or choice. Either people would return to the gyms or they won't go all in on an expensive Peloton.
The pandemic is causing people to workout more and use a more hybrid approach to their fitness than just being tied to the gym or their peloton bike e.g. you’re working out at home three days a week, going to your local studio one day, and the next day you are going for a run with friends.
The stocks of Peloton and Planet Fitness reflect this thinking. Last year, Peloton shares surged more than 440%, while Planet Fitness’ stock eked out a 4% gain. This year, Peloton shares are down 36% to date, while Planet Fitness is up about 2%.
Brands are increasingly focusing on building community in the post-pandemic era, which will be key for brands competing in the next few years of transition. “When you see someone wearing Peloton, you realize you’re part of that community together, and there’s something sweet about it, it’s really powerful,” said Jill Foley, vice president of apparel at Peloton.
Short Squeez Takeaway: People realized in the pandemic they don't have to go to the gym to stay healthy. Flexibility is the need of the hour, with all the remote work and increasing travel people are doing. That means that home fitness and gyms can continue to co-exist for the foreseeable future.