Specialty fitness retailers aren’t just a destination for fitness buffs who need access to an exercise machine 24-7; they're also a place for people who don’t feel comfortable in gyms to purchase equipment so they can work out privately.
And what’s more private, and cost-effective, than a fitness DVD?
A recent Reuters article reported that despite what many might think, the fitness DVD market is doing very well in terms of sales. A market research study by IBIS found that the fitness DVD industry is about $264 million and the industry will grow 9.8 percent in the next five years.
In the article, IBIS Industry Analyst Agata Kaczanowska said about one-third of Americans were advised to exercise by doctors in 2010, and many of those people wanted accessible, inexpensive and private options to work out, hence the popularity of fitness DVDs.
That's good news for Hyper Wear, which is releasing two brand new DVDs at IHRSA today that offer customers a workout with its SandBells (MSRPs $9.99-$99.99), rubber, sand-filled weights.
“DVDs are really critical for us,” said Dirk Buikema, the CEO of Hyper Wear. “We’ve been growing in size and our sales have been doubling ever year.” So for the first time the company is releasing professional-quality DVDs, he said.
One DVD, titled “SandBell Slam,” features a workout led by training expert Patrick Goudeau and the other, titled “SandBell Total Body Blast” is led by Brook Benten.
While regular fitness DVDs aren’t particularly popular at Omaha, Neb.-based Body Basics, the past SandBell DVDs have been a huge hit, said Manager Joe Rauth.
“SandBell for us is on fire,” Rauth said, admitting that he only stocks other DVDs to “round out his display.”
The round, sand-filled weights look different from other items on the market, and Buikema said the DVDs help people feel more comfortable using them.
“It shows the use of the product,” Buikema said. “The SandBells are a pretty intuitive product once you pick them up and use them. They do things that traditional products but they look different so it takes people a bit to catch on.”
Plus customers might not get the full benefit from the product without the DVD, Rauth said.
“It’s a new product and a lot of people don’t know all the things that it’s capable of,” Rauth said when asked why he thinks the SandBell DVDs sell better than others he carries in his store.
According to the IBIS research, DVD sales remained strong throughout the recession and analysts predict sales of the product will remain strong as many doctors continue to prescribe exercise to patients.
For now, some specialty fitness retailers are focusing on the DVDs that help customers learn to use products they are purchasing at the stores. And Rauth can’t wait until the new SandBell DVDs ship in May.
“I know that I have people as soon as they hear that [there are new DVDs] they’ll come in and get those,” he said.