Italian exercise company Technogym has long sold to both gyms and consumers, but the pandemic has it focusing on consumers.
It was good timing and bad timing: Italian-based Technogym acquired its fitness store in Los Angeles for an early 2020 opening, seeking to add L.A. to the list of locations where it had a standalone outlet for its high-end exercise equipment, a list that includes New York, Moscow, Madrid and Milan.
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been particularly widespread in California, pushed back the opening a few times. The West Hollywood showroom finally opened to the public in November, said assistant store manager Lauren Monreale.
In that time, the demand for home exercise equipment skyrocketed as the pandemic shuttered gyms and fitness studios and left millions of fitness buffs weary of going back, if they could. This has provided Technogym, which has serviced both gyms and consumers since 1983 and gained a reputation for its sleek designs, with new needs to fill with its fitness equipment stores.
Right now, we are trying to build up the [direct] consumer side,” said Monreale. “There had always been a consumer side but now people are more concerned about going to the gym.”
She further said that hot sellers of the brief time the Technogym fitness store has been open are pieces that allow for a variety of home exercises in a compact space. These include the Technogym Bench, which is an actual box-like workout bench that stores elastic resistance bands, hexagon dumbbells and weighted knuckles for an all-inclusive kit. Customers with more space and money have been gravitating towards the Unica, a flexible weight bench with a backboard that combines presses for arm and leg workouts.
In a Technogym fitness store, you can also find ranges of ellipticals, treadmills, rowers, stationary bikes and strength training benches. Monreale said that these are usually sold when clients are building or renovating home gyms. Also, architects build spaces with them in mind, she added.
She went on to state that an outlet like Technogym fitness equipment-selling store still has an appeal in an era when even high-ticket items are increasingly purchased online and trendy equipment from SoulCycle or Peloton is ordered sight-unseen before it officially hits the market by customers who are added to waiting lists.
“I think even with all of that, people like to test-drive a product in a way,” she said. “The showroom is a place where people can try all the things and touch them. I think it’s a place where we can show all the pieces. We have it set up with a minimal, sleek look in mind.”
Nick Keppler is a freelance journalist, writer and editor. He enjoys writing the difficult stories, the ones that make him pore over studies, talk about subjects that make people uncomfortable, and explain concepts that have taken years to develop. Nick has written extensively about psychology, healthcare, and public policy for national publications and for those locally- based in Pittsburgh. In addition to Athletech News, Nick has written for The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Vice, Slate, Reuters, CityLab, Men’s Health, The Gizmodo Media Group, The Financial Times, Mental Floss, The Village Voice and AlterNet. His journalistic heroes include Jon Ronson, Jon Krakauer and Norah Vincent.