Peloton punctuated a tough week with a bright spot, teasing the next major addition to its home exercise roster. In an instant and you’ll miss it, the affiliate fitness brand confirmed the upcoming release of a home rowing machine. Other than the quick glimpse and a “coming soon” image, that’s apparently all we get for now.
From the quick shots, the rower is aesthetically in line with the company’s existing bikes and treadmills. It appears to be an all-black sit-down machine with a standard resistance cable and a large display for viewing Peloton’s fitness courses.
The system was briefly unveiled as part of the two-day ‘members’ event. The company notes, “Peloton will bring its best-in-class fitness experience to the rowing world! Combining Cardio and Strength – Peloton is excited to add this total body workout to its powerful arsenal of content.
The product has been rumored since last year, although it seems likely that the company’s ongoing financial difficulties derailed an earlier release. New CEO Barry McCarthy outlined the company’s existing inventory issues during a recent conversation with investors, noting:
The balance sheet challenge was managing inventory. We have too much for the company’s current run rate, and that stock has consumed a tremendous amount of cash, more than we anticipated, prompting us to rethink our capital structure (more on that later). Fortunately, the risk of obsolescence is negligible, and we think the stock will eventually be sold, so this is primarily a cash flow timing issue, not a structural issue.
Launching an entirely new product line is a risky move for a company struggling to move old inventory. Of course, financial issues aside, the Peloton brand is still a strong brand in this category, and the addition of a much-demanded piece of hardware could certainly boost its adoption.
Rowing machines have become an increasingly popular third option for full-body workouts, after fitness bikes and treadmills. Companies like Hydrow and Ergatta have made an effort to fill much of the home fitness enthusiast Peloton has left on the table thus far.
Along with the rower scourge, Peloton also announced a slew of new features, including Invite Friends, which allows users to schedule collaborative workouts in the app. Just Workout, meanwhile, makes it possible to track running, cycling and walking outside the pack in the app, allowing users to add up their outdoor excursions. The company says Just Workout was “consistently a most requested feature.”
The company also announced plans to open its Peloton Studios in New York and London for member workouts.