After sanitiser, now at-home gym gear is the bestseller

After sanitiser, now at-home gym gear is the bestseller


When home is where health is during coronavirus, personal fitness equipment like resistance bands, dumbbells and treadmills have seen huge spike in sales; carrom board top selling indoor game

With all sporting activity coming to a sudden halt owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, sports lovers and fitness enthusiasts have been facing a tough time with grounds barred and gyms opening only recently. Physical activity has been restricted to the four walls of the homes.

The increase in indoor activity has turned beneficial for personal fitness equipment manufacturers as fitness buffs have ensured there is no lull in the market. The demand for personal fitness gear like resistance bands and dumbbells rose exponentially since the government allowed the opening of sports shops in June. However, the hottest selling product has been the humble carrom board, long confined to the corners, making a comeback with people investing in indoor games.

“Carrom boards are tough to get these days,” Narendra Kankaria, owner of Sports Solutions in Vastrapur, told Mirror. “To give you an idea, we have been selling carrom boards at 25 to 30 per cent discount in normal times. But now, we are selling it on its MRP,” Kankaria, a tennis enthusiast himself, said.

“Dumbbells, personal fitness bands, home fitness equipment are the other things that have seen a rise in demand. Even bicycles saw a huge jump in sales,” he said, while acknowledging that carrom board sales had increased five times while the sales of home fitness equipment saw 400 to 500 per cent jump. However, sales of outdoor sports equipment like cricket bats, badminton and tennis racquets have taken a beating. “Outdoor sports equipment sales are down to 30 per cent with cricket, which constitutes a major part, down to almost zero now,” he said.

Prakash Dhanwani, who owns World of Sports, near Swastik crossroads at CG Road, reasons the demand for the carrom board going up. “During the lockdown, and even now, most people have been staying at home. And it has become important to keep oneself engaged which explains the demand for carrom boards as they are easy to play,” Dhanwani said. “Even the sales of dumbbells and resistance bands have increased,” he said.

Echoing the sentiments, Neel Shah, CEO of Gambol on Science City road that deals in sports equipment said, “After the lockdown ended, a lot of people wanted to get back to their routine. Of course, they are apprehensive about going to gyms but there is a desire to exercise which has resulted in the demand for cardio exercise equipment, treadmill and other fitness accessories.” Shah said, “I can say there is a 200 to 300 per cent increase in demand in certain categories.”

People have started to look at fitness as permanent health solutions. They have started to look at it as an investment and they are investing heavily in good quality equipment

Ravina Maken, COO, Grand Slam Fitness

It is not only the home fitness equipment, but even the sale of bicycles has increased post lockdown. “There is an increase in demand for a certain type of cycle as people are more concerned about their health and there is a general awareness too,” Rahul Parikh, owner of Revolution Bikes store near Mansi crossing in Vastrapur, said. “Cycling is one of the safest ways to fitness and one cycles keeping in mind all the guidelines issued by the government for our safety,” Parikh said.

For Shiraz Avari, owner of Gujarat Sports that has shops in Ambawadi and in Kalupur which was opened in 1911, it is not the demand but the supply that worries him. “During this period, we only sold carrom and fitness equipment. Nothing else,” Avari said.

Putting things into perspective, Ravina Maken, COO of Delhi-based Grand Slam Fitness that caters to some of the top sportspersons in the country, said, “People have started to look at fitness as permanent health solutions now. They have started to look at it as an investment and they are investing heavily in good quality equipment.”

“Keeping the hygiene factor in mind, residential fitness is an area that is consolidating now. More and more people will move to residential fitness and setting up a small corner in their house for their fitness regime,” Maken, whose company is the largest manufacturer and the only exporter of outdoor fitness equipment in India, said.

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