Fitness equipment is fast becoming the new toilet paper, with demand for kettlebells, dumbbells and basically anything people can lift skyrocketing in the wake of indefinite gym closures to quash the spread of COVID-19.
Demand has been pumped up due to the uncertainty fitness enthusiasts face around how long they will have to wait before they can return to pumping iron in commercial gyms or outdoor exercise stations.
Sporting goods store GymQuip Fitness owner Dan Rankin said the scenes at his Fyshwick store on Monday 23 March after the announcement of gym closures was unheard of.
“We’ve been absolutely inundated; we had lines waiting for us … there were 30 or 40 people out the front waiting to go. We were basically selling 10-deep at the counter all day,” he said.
“There was a lead-up to that, the preceding week was really busy, but it really hit on the Monday.”
The home gym boom has flowed through to the second-hand market too, with Gumtree reporting a 64.29% increase in the number of people searching for fitness equipment items on their website between 8 and 21 March.
Mr Rankin said their most popular fitness equipment has been strength training related.
“Weights, bars, dumbbells, kettlebells, squat racks, functional trainers … anything that people can lift is what they were buying.
“Anything strength really went out quickly, which I had good stocks of because I did pre-empt the gyms may have closed.
“I could easily have sold more than double what I did if I had the stock, and it’s not just here, it’s nationwide and worldwide; all my colleagues in other countries are saying the same thing,” he said.
Mr Rankin said he’s now hard at work with his overseas and local suppliers to restock his barer than normal showroom floor with iron.
“I’ve got stock arriving as of next week, but some items, when you sell four or five months of stock in a couple of weeks, that’s tough to budget for, so I’m trying to get inventory back in.”
Working closely with many personal trainers, Mr Rankin said the restriction limiting group fitness classes to essentially one-on-one has forced a lot of them to adapt by moving online.
“We’ve had a lot of personal trainers wanting to get items for their clients so they can continue working out at home, they want to keep their clients active and actually engage with them.
“A lot of them have lost their job overnight, and they’ve had to adapt,” he said.