When the pandemic hit the U.S. this time last year, stores and businesses shut down and with no discernable timeline set for a return to normalcy, and panic shopping ensued.
For months, shoppers flocked to stores to scoop up the last of Clorox (CLX) wipes, toilet paper, milk and eggs. But while millions spent their days tracking down household necessities, others acted just as quickly to ensure their workout routines would not go interrupted by the closing of gyms. So, they grabbed dumbells and workout equipment in record numbers and drove sales to the popular at-home fitness service Peloton (PTON) to all-time highs.
Peloton quickly shot up the ranks on Wall Street and became one of the stock market’s darlings of the pandemic era. Fueled almost entirely by the COVID-19 pandemic, at-home fitness has become a trend that’s now opening up doors for other companies to take advantage of what many believe will be another huge transformation that could be sticking around for good.
One of those companies is called, Tonal, which manufactures an at-home digital weight-lifting system that eliminates the need for bulky weight racks. The San Francisco-based company is yet to go public, but that hasn’t stopped the hype.
CEO Aly Orady says he expects the home fitness habits established during the pandemic to continue even as public gyms open again, telling CNBC:
“Post-Covid, investors believe that workout-from-home is a permanent shift in behavior and patterns.”
The Tonal system, which lets users achieve a full-body weight workout from the convenience of their own home with a digital intelligence system that tracks progress and adjusts in response to the body’s cues, has already raised capital from several celebrity athletes and institutional investors.
At a starting price of $2,9995, Tonal comes in a bit higher than Peloton’s base model bike, but the company has already partnered with the growing, buy-now-pay-later company Affirm (AFRM), to allows customers to buy the product with flexible repayment terms.