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Fitness Equipment Industry Weekly News – W46

fitness equipment news

Fitness Equipment Industry Weekly News – W46

1. Fitbit Withdraws from Nearly 30 Countries, Paving the Way for Google Pixel Watch

In a strategic move following its 2021 acquisition of Fitbit, a once-leading global wearable tech brand, Google has withdrawn Fitbit from the markets of nearly 30 countries. This decision, as reported by Android Authority and Google, is seen as a precursor to the introduction of Google's first-ever smartwatch, the Pixel Watch, unveiled at the annual Google I/O event the following year.

Fitbit watch - fitness equipment industry

According to reports, Fitbit's departure spans continents, affecting regions in Europe, Asia, and South America. 9to5Google highlights the impact on European countries, including Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Slovakia. In Asia, affected countries include Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. South American nations feeling the change include Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela.

As of today, Fitbit has officially exited 29 markets, with sales continuing in only 23 countries—a market presence that is now less than half of its former scope. In response to inquiries, Google clarified to Android Authority that the decision to cease Fitbit sales in certain countries is part of a broader strategy to integrate physical product lines, aligning more closely with Pixel's regional availability.

Google watch

Google reassures existing Fitbit users by committing to ongoing post-sales support and product assistance. Additionally, Google confirms that Fitbit devices will continue to receive security updates despite the shift in market presence.

This move underscores Google's commitment to consolidating its wearable technology offerings and optimizing the availability of its products in key markets, further positioning the Pixel Watch as a pivotal player in the smartwatch industry.

2. Bodytone's Global Expansion to France, UK, and Mexico in 2024

Fitness equipment manufacturer Bodytone is gearing up for significant international expansion with the establishment of subsidiaries in France, the United Kingdom, and Mexico slated for 2024. The move is part of the company's strategic plan to boost its turnover by 20% in 2023, surpassing the 28.5 million euros recorded in 2022.

France, the UK, and Mexico will mark the first three countries where Bodytone will directly operate, building on its existing control of the Portuguese market from Spain. The company anticipates a 35% increase in turnover in 2024, coinciding with the launch of its innovative Biostrength product line, incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) to cater to users' individual needs.

bodytone fitness equipment

Joaquín Marín, CEO of Bodytone, emphasized the significance of technology in fitness, stating, "Every day technology adds more, for this reason, we are making an effort of investment and resources." The Biostrength line aims to address the needs of individuals interested in strength training but lacking expertise.

Simultaneously, Bodytone plans to introduce a collection of 30 strength-training machines for gyms, responding to the sector's demand, where strength equipment currently dominates fitness rooms, accounting for 70% compared to cardio rooms.

Reflecting on 2023, Marín described it as "a year of consolidation and penetration in large accounts," emphasizing international expansion. The company has secured partnerships with major fitness chains and gyms, including Altafit, Evofit, L'Orange Bleue, Sportclub, Fitness Factory, Solinca, Anytime Fitness, and Ultragym.

In addition to strengthening its presence in Spain, France, and Argentina, Bodytone has expanded its network of distributors in Latin America, reaching Peru, Colombia, and Chile. It has also entered new markets in the Middle East, establishing operations in Qatar and Kuwait, and expanded to Australia and New Zealand.

The agreement with Trainingym is highlighted as a significant achievement, described by Marín as "a milestone of 360 connectivity." Furthermore, Bodytone has opened a direct line of financing for fitness chains looking to open new facilities or upgrade their equipment.

Despite a shift in consumer trends, with home fitness products constituting 30% of the company's business in 2023, compared to 70% in 2020 and 2021, Bodytone remains a leader in the industry. The company attributes its continued success to strategic partnerships with major retailers like Decathlon and El Corte Inglés.

As Bodytone positions itself for global growth, the company, currently employing 75 individuals, plans to increase its workforce by ten employees by 2024. The Iberian Sports Retail Group (ISRG), owned by JD Sports, holds a 50% stake in Bodytone, with founders Joaquín Marín and Jerónimo Domínguez controlling the remaining shares. Bodytone operates out of 10,000 square meters of facilities in Murcia and shares additional space with ISRG in Alicante.

Xponential Fitness, a global franchisor of boutique fitness brands, has appointed Bob Kaufman as the President of International to spearhead the company's worldwide expansion plans across its diverse portfolio of brands. With over 25 years of industry experience, Kaufman has previously led global franchising efforts at Tower Records, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and, most recently, Mathnasium.

Xponential fitness brand

Xponential Fitness currently boasts a presence in over 23 countries, with Kaufman set to lead the company's international team towards further growth. The appointment aligns with Xponential's strategy to make boutique fitness accessible globally.

In tandem with this announcement, Xponential has revealed several multi-brand deals in both new and existing international markets. Active Franchise Management Company, the Master Franchise Partner for Kuwait, has extended its agreement to develop Club Pilates, Rumble, StretchLab, and AKT studios in Qatar. Xponential has also expanded into Asia and Europe with multi-unit franchise agreements for its group strength training brand, Body Fit Training (BFT), in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Scotland, and Spain.

Anthony Geisler, CEO of Xponential, emphasized the significance of international expansion for the company's growth and shareholder value. He expressed enthusiasm about having Kaufman, a seasoned industry veteran, lead the international team, leveraging his expertise to further enhance Xponential's global presence.

4. Clive Ormerod to Step Down as Les Mills Group CEO at Year End

According to Les Mills, the CEO Clive Ormerod will step down from his current position by end of 2023 and the company is seeking for his successor now.

Les Mills CEO Clive

Ormerod joined the global fitness company as Chief Marketing Officer in early 2018 and was promoted to Group Chief Executive Officer in July 2019. He was first as Chief Marketing Officer and then leading our business as Chief Executive for the past four years. During his nearly six years in office, Les Mills has significantly increased its global presence through clubs and instructors, while also expanding its digital operations to create an omnichannel fitness experience. He was also instrumental in Les Mills closing a historic partnership with sportswear giant, Adidas.

5. TRX Training and Orangetheory Fitness Collaborate on Innovative Suspension Trainer

In a groundbreaking partnership, TRX Training and Orangetheory Fitness have introduced a co-branded suspension trainer, unveiled at the annual Momentum Convention. This collaboration marks one of TRX's initial forays into custom suspension trainers, responding to the increasing demand from Orangetheory subscribers for diverse strength-training options.

TRX fitness equipment

At the convention, TRX showcased the new suspension trainer through engaging educational sessions and a vibrant presence at their booth. The collaboration signals the readiness of TRX and Orangetheory Fitness to deliver some of the most exciting and highest-quality fitness experiences to their studios, as posted on the networking platform.

In response to the shared image of YBells with unique weight ranges, acquired by TRX from Australia-based YBell Fitness, the Orangetheory community on Reddit expressed intrigue and anticipation. TRX's strategic acquisition of YBell Fitness this summer was aimed at enhancing its range of functional training equipment.

During the event, TRX also provided a sneak peek to studio owners and coaches of various programs and product concepts currently in testing, with plans for a full unveiling in 2024.

6. Kerzner Unveils Siro One Zabeel: A Paradigm-Shifting Fitness and Recovery Hotel

Kerzner International introduces Siro One Zabeel, the pioneer in its Siro hotel series, positioned as the "ultimate fitness and recovery hotel," now open for reservations.

Scheduled to welcome guests in February 2024 at the One Za'abeel development in Dubai, this property signifies the launch of Siro, a cutting-edge fitness and recovery brand by Kerzner International.

fitness equipment in hotel

Siro One Zabeel promises a unique guest experience centered around the brand's five distinctive "biohacking pillars": fitness, nutrition, sleep, recovery, and mindfulness, all seamlessly integrated with state-of-the-art technology.

Each soundproof room in the hotel is equipped with recovery essentials, a dedicated stretching bar, an in-room refuel bar, personalized modular dining, and access to virtual exercise classes.

Siro goes a step further with dedicated Fitness Suites, providing advanced in-room amenities, including a personal gym for guests seeking an elevated fitness experience.

For those looking to unwind, the hotel's Recovery Suites offer a relaxing space with stretching accessories, a treatment room, and a luxurious bathtub overlooking the city.

All rooms are meticulously designed to enhance physical and mental recovery, combat jet lag, boost mood, and ensure rejuvenating sleep. The in-room ambiance is adjustable through app-controlled smart curtains that synchronize with natural light, facilitating a refreshed awakening in harmony with guests' circadian rhythms.

Siro also features an expansive Fitness Lab, complete with a gym floor, Pilates studio, indoor cycling studio, yoga studio, and an "Experience Box" with curated programming, all equipped by Technogym.

Guests can access various external multi-sport courts for activities such as volleyball, tennis, padel, squash, and badminton.

The Recovery Lab offers specialized treatments like percussion therapy, electro-muscle stimulation, sports massage, IV therapy, cryotherapy, cupping, dry needling, assisted stretching, and more.

Adding to the wellness experience, the hotel includes a Wellness Pod designed to reduce stress and promote relaxation and self-reflection. Siro One Zabeel redefines the concept of a hotel stay by seamlessly blending luxury, fitness, and recovery for an unparalleled guest experience.

We provide weekly news for fitness equipment and sporting goods industry!

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