Under normal circumstances, many people head to their local gyms or fitness centers to help stay active, take care of their health and release their stress. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in hundreds of thousands of individuals’ regular fitness routines, as the vast majority of gyms have had to close their doors to prevent the spread of the virus.
With household members in more than 40 states across the country under stay-at-home orders and practicing social distancing, people have had to get a bit creative when it comes to maintaining their exercise regimen.
Helping Consumers Cope with Gym Closures
Those who prefer to work out in their homes have turned to digital resources during this time to get help with do-it-yourself routines that many of their gyms and fitness centers are uploading to social media. There are also live streams that people can take advantage of to maintain that sense of connection.
Meanwhile, a growing number of Play It Again Sports® franchisees have seen their business increase as consumers bring exercise equipment into their own homes.
Initially, Newport News-based franchisee Bob Harrell was concerned of the future for his Play It Again Sports location like so many of his fellow small business owners. While local sports teams canceled their events – cutting into a regular revenue stream – consumers seeking in-home fitness equipment have helped pick up the slack.
John Acheson, an owner in Bozeman, Montana, has also seen demand for fitness equipment increase as stay-at-home orders and social distancing have taken effect. Acheson mentioned in an interview with MontanaSports.com that most of the customers coming into his store are looking for free weights and exercise machines.
A silver lining around the current health and economic crisis for Play It Again Sports in Cary, North Carolina franchisees, Hal and Laura Gaston and General Manager, Matt Sawyer, is the fact that their store is able to get their customers the items they want at a price they can afford. While other retailers have been using the current crisis as an opportunity increase their prices, they are holding true to the brand promise of offering discounts of between 40 and 90 percent off the retail price for quality used sports and fitness gear.
To accommodate social distancing standards, many owners are offering both curbside pickup and delivery. For example, Oregon-based Play It Again Sports owner Jay DeKalb has been taking phone orders and requests through social media. DeKalb had sold nearly 90 percent of his free weight inventory by the end of March.
Staying Active at Home
As a franchise brand, we’re thankful that we have an opportunity to help people deal with the unprecedented situation with COVID-19. With a sporting goods resale franchise like Play It Again Sports, consumers are able to find a more convenient and economical way to make good on their fitness routines.
Customers can purchase fitness equipment at substantial discounts compared to the retail cost, in addition to picking up inexpensive items like fit balls, dumbbells and exercise bands. At a time when budgets are getting tighter and the need to stay active and healthy remains constant, it’s important that we remain a reliable resource for consumers across the country.
Winmark brands are dedicated to serving their communities. To learn more about franchise opportunities with Winmark, download our free Play It Again Sports franchise report here.