- The fitness industry is rapidly evolving as more Americans workout from home than ever before thanks to the pandemic.
- Experts say these shifts will be lasting, and will catalyze a period of consolidation within the fitness industry.
- We spoke with several industry insiders who shared their predictions for possible fitness industry mergers and acquisitions.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The year 2021 is already shaping up to be a pivotal one for the rapidly evolving fitness industry.
With more virtual exercise programs and at-home fitness products on the market than ever before, the pandemic has drastically changed the way Americans workout. And experts say that connected fitness is here to stay. Some companies like Peloton have emerged as early leaders of the new fitness era— closing its banner 2020 year with a major $420 million acquisition of Precor.
Though many predict brick-and-mortar gyms and studios will not become obsolete, those companies may soon enter a period of consolidation to account for closures and bankruptcies during the pandemic, while also adding digital services to keep up with today’s fitness landscape.
“What you saw happen in retail is exactly what’s happening in fitness on the bricks and mortar side: lots of consolidation while the industry goes through this period of shifting to digital and a hybridization of offerings,” Bryan O’Rourke, a fitness analyst and board member with the International Health Racquet and Sportsclub Association, told Insider.
We spoke with several fitness industry experts, including O’Rourke — ranging from market researchers and venture capital to marketing gurus — about possible M&A activity to look out for 2021. Here’s what they had to say.