The pandemic was a difficult time for everybody – even as shops were forced to close during the various lockdowns, this didn’t stop the bills from coming through the door each month. Both individuals and businesses suffered, and some industries will feel the effects of the pandemic for many years to come.
In particular, gyms were hit hard during COVID-19. As we start to get accustomed to the new norm, many gyms are still struggling to survive…and here’s why.
Lack of Income
The most obvious reason why gyms took such a hard hit during COVID-19 is that they had to close. In Victoria, Queensland, and all over the country, lockdowns were announced, and gyms had to close their doors. Most gyms stopped payments for clients since they weren’t able to access the facilities normally on offer.
Like most businesses, this meant that revenue suddenly dropped to almost nothing. Meanwhile, gyms still had to pay bills, salaries, and other expenses. With this in mind, it hurt huge names just as much as smaller, independent gyms. As the economy rebounds though, now is the time to buy a gym business in NSW before everything starts opening back up. Oftentimes disaster can create opportunity, this might be an industry where that applies.
Poor Consumer Confidence
Another reason why gyms took such a hard hit during COVID-19 is that consumers lost all confidence. Let’s not forget, this was a global pandemic where suddenly even stepping foot outside the house presented its risks. Australians didn’t want to go to the shops because they worried what might happen if they did.
During the pandemic, most Australians were hearing horror stories of loved ones and distant relatives testing positive and getting put into quarantine. Even those who didn’t know anybody with the virus would put on the TV at night and hear about how it was highly contagious and dangerous. The government was telling people to stay at home, and gym-goers were more than happy to abide.
Even when the gyms did reopen, you can’t repair this sort of damage to consumer confidence overnight. You can’t expect people to feel instantly comfortable working out in a gym. This is a place where people sweat, breathe heavily, shower, touch all sorts of surfaces, and more.
Therefore, people built a habit of working out at home and they were happy to continue this habit. Why leave the house and expose yourself to the virus when you can work out at home?
The Abundance of Home Gym Equipment
Thirdly, people took to online services like Amazon and invested in home gym equipment. While some people bought dumbbells and weights, others went for rowing machines and bike machines. Furthermore, the home gym equipment niche exploded with advanced services like Peloton.
In Australia, we’re now in a position where consumers are worried about returning to gyms and they have the equipment to continue exercising at home. As the pandemic took hold, fitness instructors took to YouTube and uploaded brilliant workout videos. The whole world was catered to exercising at home, and it will take some time to undo this.
At first, people were nervous about going to get their hair cut after the pandemic. However, the difference between exercising and cutting hair is that customers can’t do the latter themselves. On the other hand, they can exercise at home using home gym equipment, YouTube videos, games consoles like Ring Fit Adventure, or even just running/walking.
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With less income, reduced consumer confidence, and people buying their own equipment, the pandemic has hit gyms very hard. In 2021, the pandemic will hopefully keep fading and people will return once again. Working out at home is safe and convenient, but people will eventually want the social aspect and professional guidance that come with gyms!