Why Walmart Gym Equipment Sales Are Stagnating
WASHINGTON — As demand for gym equipment continues to grow, retailers are finding that they’re facing a major supply problem.
The number of gym equipment orders has been stagnant since 2009, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The Commerce Department said in its quarterly report that sales of gym gear totaled $3.3 trillion in 2015, up from $3 trillion a year earlier.
In recent months, the industry has been reporting that its sales of fitness equipment, gym equipment and apparel have been slowing, but the Commerce Department data is still a small sample size.
The Commerce Department reported sales of exercise equipment, shoes and equipment for stationary and indoor exercise equipment totaled $6.1 trillion in 2014.
In 2016, the Commerce department reported sales were up just 1.5 percent.
In 2017, the figure was up 2.5.
The data suggests that the market is not quite ready to absorb the growth in demand for equipment that’s being sold on an hourly basis.
And some retailers are struggling to keep up.
A retailer’s gym equipment sales can be influenced by the type of equipment, how long it takes to sell, how much it costs and how much the retailer has to pay for the equipment, said Andrew Marder, chief executive officer of Fitness Equipment Sales Inc., based in Houston.
The price tag of a workout equipment order can range from $150 to $200, depending on the type and the size of the gym.
The retailer is likely to pay the lowest price possible, said Mard, who estimates that some retailers pay less than $100 for an hour of exercise.
But for an individual to hit the gym for an exercise session, the average person would need to spend more than $600 on an hour, he said.
And because it takes a long time to sell equipment, people who use exercise equipment for a short time can often’t afford to pay a full price, he added.
The U.N. Health Organization says about 15 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where exercise is not compulsory.
In countries where it is, exercise equipment can cost as much as $100 per hour, while the average American spends about $3,000 per year on gym equipment.
The equipment is not just a source of income for gym members.
They can be a source for income for other people.
Fitness equipment can be used as a tool to help others in a situation, such as a child getting lost or a disabled person needing extra help, said Tom Zillmann, vice president for business development for the Association of Fitness and Wellness Professionals.
Marder said that some people are willing to pay up to $100 a day for a full workout.
He said he is also seeing the demand for exercise equipment rising because of the Affordable Care Act.
The law expanded the use of health insurance to millions of Americans and mandated employers provide health insurance for their workers.
Under the ACA, many businesses are offering health insurance through the exchanges that offer subsidies to low-income people and small businesses.
The Department of Labor has started a pilot program for businesses to offer health insurance options on the exchanges to their workers, but it’s only for six weeks, and the pilot is only open to businesses that offer health coverage on the exchange, according a department official.
The Labor Department will begin accepting applications for health insurance plans from businesses on October 1.
The Department of Health and Human Services said in October that it will start accepting applications from small businesses and small-business owners starting in early January.
In the meantime, there are many small businesses who are offering their employees free health insurance on the health exchanges, Zillman said.
The Affordable Care Acts health insurance exchange website says that “small businesses” will have to provide proof of health coverage.
A handful of gym chains offer health plans on the Obamacare exchanges, but most of the companies do not have health insurance.
The health insurance exchanges have become more popular as the market for small businesses has exploded.
The Health Insurance Marketplace, an online portal for small employers to offer their employees health coverage, launched last year.
The site is still in its infancy, and it only has 1.3 million members, but some of the top retailers like Walmart have started offering health plans to their employees.
The health plans will cost an average of $9 a month, depending how much you can pay, said Zillbaum.
He added that some small businesses may not have the funds to cover that much.
He said the health plans can be an important source of revenue for a business.
“You can make a lot of money by selling it on the website,” Zillberger said.
“You can get people to use it for their gym sessions.
That’s a very profitable business.”
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