COVID-19 Shakes Up Fitness and Health Club Industry

Fitness is an important part of our lives. Many of us participate in physical activities to relieve stress and stay healthy.

Gyms are an important part of this, providing us with the space and equipment to work out regularly. But since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the gym landscape has undergone significant change.

In 2019, the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) pinned the total number of health clubs in the U.S. at 41,370. By July of 2021, this was around 32,269 – a decline of around 22%.

Investment Implications

These changes were not just visible in the data but could be seen in national headlines too. Throughout 2020, companies such as 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym, and YogaWorks filed for bankruptcy shuttering hundreds of locations in the process.

Meanwhile, at-home fitness solutions took off. Companies like Peloton (stock ticker: PTON) sold equipment to households nationwide, seeing record fitness subscriptions and engagement. In Peloton’s report last week, they boasted 2.5 million fitness subcriptions (nearly double versus one year ago) but slipping engagement.

On the other hand, Planet Fitness (stock ticker: PLNT) reported a record number of net additions with total members reaching 15 million, as they continue to execute on their vision. Going forward, it’s interesting to think of what the future of fitness will look like and which companies are well positioned.

Twitter:  @_SeanDavid

The author or his firm may have positions in mentioned securities at the time of publication. Any opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not in any way represent the views or opinions of any other person or entity.

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