Coronavirus: Fitness equipment in hot demand as 'circuit breaker' brings sports to a halt

Decathlon noted a 43 per cent increase in sales of home fitness products.
Decathlon noted a 43 per cent increase in sales of home fitness products.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Fitness equipment sales have surged since the Government announced stricter "circuit breaker" measures last Friday (April 3) to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Singapore.

Retailers The Straits Times interviewed all saw a surge in sales, some by up to threefold, as customers rushed to the shops before non-essential physical stores close from Tuesday till May 4 as part of the measures. All public sports and recreational facilities will also be shut.

French sportswear and sports equipment chain Decathlon noted a 43 per cent increase in sales of home fitness products last Friday and Saturday, particularly for those related to yoga, cross training and bodybuilding.

On top of a strong demand for its Triban mountain bikes, Decathlon's latest top five best-sellers are pilates toning bands, training bands, yoga mats, kids' bicycles and adult scooters.

Customers can still buy products online during the "circuit breaker" period, and Decathlon chief financial officer Poh Lu Tang said it has enough stock to meet the high demand, and that users will get their orders delivered in one to two days.

He added: "We understand and have anticipated the needs of Singaporeans who are looking to adopt a healthy lifestyle during the stay home month ahead."

Aibi, which produces and distributes treadmills and elliptical trainers, also shared that its sales have increased by up to 300 per cent - its EZ Tone Desk treadmill and workout benches are sold out - though the Singapore firm is bracing itself for the cost of closing its stores here for a month.

While its products are sold online, Aibi marketing director Pauline Kwek said: "Some machines are more costly, and customers need a physical look and may not want to order online as they are bigger investments."

Other online sellers are also seeing a jump in sales.

 
 

Homegym.sg estimated an 80 per cent increase in sales and many of its items have sold out, while directhomegym.sg saw visits to its online store go up from an average of 250 per day in the beginning of March to almost 2,000 over the weekend.

Popular items include strength training equipment like dumb bells, kettlebells, bar bells, squat racks and weight clips.

Directhomegym.sg founder Wayne Poh said many people are buying "small amounts of equipment from different shops at the very last minute" due to the situation and that many retailers were not prepared for the surge as they do not have a lot of inventory.

His company has four delivery staff and orders from April 3 will be fulfilled from next month as it has "a good supply chain, so we restock quite fast".

 
 
 

Mr Kenneth Teo, a 31-year-old human resource executive, was one of those who scrambled to shop for fitness equipment at physical or online stores over the weekend.

He spent "a few hundred dollars" on an exercise bike, weights, yoga mat and foam rollers. "I didn't have many of these because I had been working out in a gym," he said.

"But now that gyms and fitness studios are closed, it is time to equip myself if I want to exercise and stay healthy. I believe many think the same way, and that is why the home fitness shelves were almost empty."