Thursday, November 23, 2023

Peloton's Obvious Desperation is Obvious and Desperate.


Your company hit gold in the form of COVID.  Gyms closed down, stimulus checks were sent out, a lot of people in the upper tax brackets were stuck at home = market for fancy expensive exercise bikes with subscription workout sessions.  

Admit it- you would have been perfectly happy to see COVID last another several years.  If you were a James Bond villain, you might be trying to discover a new pandemic to unleash upon the world right now.  COVID was a bonanza for the Exercise from Home Industry.  You were only a small part of that industry, but it made your company what it was at its peak- a winner. 

These ads showing people in love with their Pelotons are almost sad, almost funny in their disconnect with reality.  In one scene, we've got a guy using his bike inside what looks to be a vast, otherwise empty warehouse.  In another, we've got the "relatable" guy munching on a bag of chips which he throws away as the workout gets started like a kid who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar (1984 much?  "Smith! 2087 Smith W!  Straighten that back! Good job, Comrade!")

And then we get the "big sale" pitch which finally brings us to the point- Peloton overextended itself, people are going back to the gym, taking spinning classes on basketball courts again, and sales are way, way down for these overpriced status symbols you can't even manage to let your coworkers know you have because you can't figure out how to casually bring it up in conversation.  

You've got a bigger problem, Peloton, and its names are Craig's List and Facebook Marketplace.  No matter how much you drop the price of your white elephants, you probably are not going to be able to match the deals you can get on those and other Please Buy My Stuff My Rent Is Due Why Did I Buy This sites.  Because the gyms are still out there, pretty much every other exercise bike that does the same thing is much cheaper, and yard sales are online 24/7.

Your "good times," which pretty much everyone else considered two years they want to forget as soon as possible, are over.*  Accept it with some dignity, please.

*it's entirely possible that you'll get a small boost right after Thanksgiving, and maybe another one after New Year's Day, but I still wouldn't buy stock in your company unless I planned to sell it to another sucker in the short term.  

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