With the pandemic closing gyms and restricting people’s ability to exercise outdoors, just over * half of UK consumers say that they have instead started home workouts since the first lockdown began in March 2020, according to the latest UK consumer survey by GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
The trend has provided a boost to sports clothing and equipment retailers, with 53.3% of UK consumers spending an average of £162.08 each on buying home workout products in the last 12 months.
A third of those who have started working out at home since the pandemic began say that they did not exercise regularly before, and three quarters claimed they will continue doing home workouts when restrictions end.
Jonathan Rock, retail analyst at GlobalData, commented: “Concerned about their fitness and wanting to make productive use of their home time, participation in home workouts has remained a popular choice with UK consumers over the last 12 months. Even during the excellent weather last summer and into the autumn when restrictions were minimal and people were keen to get out of their homes, around a quarter of UK consumers still continued with their home workout regimes. January 2021 was the most popular month for home workouts, as the cold weather and new year lockdown reignited interest in the trend.”
When working from home emerged as a more long-term response to the pandemic, UK consumers became more confident in purchasing big-ticket workout items like gym equipment and exercise machines, knowing that they would get good use out of them with online retailers such as Argos, eBay, and especially Amazon dominating sales of these products.
In parallel to this, athleisurewear has also surged in demand with comfortable workout clothing and shoes such as leggings, tops and trainers being used for work wear as well as kit for home workouts.
Rock continued: “The high demand caused by the pandemic for sports and gym equipment has recently lead the Office of National Statistics to add casual clothing and home exercise equipment to the basket of goods and services they use to calculate the UK cost of living.”
Consumer spend is high, with more than 40% of respondents spending between either £50-100 or £100-200 on home workout products. Adidas’ emphasis on direct to customers sales appears to have paid off as 20.9% of consumers bought home workout apparel products direct from the brand – almost twice as much as rival Nike, and 5.1ppts more than apparel e-retail giant ASOS.
Rock adds: “Home workouts are here to stay with a sizeable growth in the average annual spend on products associated with this trend over the last 12 months, fuelled by expensive gym equipment and the increased popularity of athleisure wear during lockdown which all suggests a significant increase in the long-term size of the home workout market.”
* Source: GlobalData’s monthly survey of 2,000 nationally representative UK consumers, conducted at the start of February 2021.