Peloton CEO: The uphill climb to creating an at-home fitness behemoth
The fitness giant saw a 130% sales increase last quarter
Fitness giant Peloton has changed the label on at-home exercise and CEO John Foley shared that paving the pathway to success has been nothing short of a workout itself.
“I honestly pinch myself. I feel like we’ve got the best job and we’re creating one of the great brands for our generation,” Foley said on “Fox News Sunday.” “And we’re having fun.”
With a reimagined and interactive approach to working out, Foley was able to take the stationary bike to the next level. Peloton’s exercise technology has managed to bring studio fitness into the home, fitting their equipment with touch screens and adding personal touches to each session.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for Peloton products exploded and revenue soared. Foley confirmed the company experienced a 130% increase in sales in the first quarter of 2021 alone.
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But Foley said he’s not in the business for the money. Together with his wife Jill Foley -- both fitness fanatics -- the couple brainstormed their billion-dollar idea to provide consistent access to boutique classes.
“In New York, it was hard to get into those classes,” he said. “We bring a community of people, millions of people, into the experience so it’s not lonely. Think Netflix but for fitness classes.”
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“The instructor can see how you’re doing and he or she might give you a shout-out and say, ‘CWallace123, This is your 100th class. Everyone stand up and follow CWallace up the hill.’”
And even though the concept has proven successful, getting started was nonetheless an uphill climb for the Foleys as they brainstormed how to differentiate Peloton products from ordinary, frequently dust-collecting workout equipment.
Peloton currently has more than five million active members which Foley aims to increase to 100 million by welcoming more members and hiring more staff.
Foley faced possibly his most viral bump in the road after the release of Peloton’s 2019 holiday commercial which sparked outrage on social media. The ad featured a woman who some argued looked distressed when given a Peloton bike as a gift from her husband.
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“It was a frustrating moment for all of us," he reacted. "We’re very passionate about what we do and it’s not just about fitness. It’s about a journey and about becoming a better you."