Business

Peloton considers layoffs but denies report it will pause production

"The information the media has obtained is incomplete, out of context, and not reflective of Peloton’s strategy."

A Peloton stationary bike for sale at the company's showroom in Dedham, Mass. Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg


Peloton, the maker of stationary bikes and livestreamed workouts that enjoyed a surge in demand as gyms shut down during the pandemic, is considering laying off some workers and making changes to its production as the once-hot interest in its products slows.

“We now need to evaluate our organization structure and size of our team, with the utmost care and compassion,” John Foley, Peloton’s co-founder and CEO, wrote in a post on the company’s website late Thursday. “And we are still in the process of considering all options as part of our efforts to make our business more flexible.”

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Foley denied a report that the company would temporarily halt production of its bike. That news, reported by CNBC, which cited internal documents, had triggered a 24% drop in the company’s share price Thursday. CNBC reported that Peloton planned to pause the production of its connected fitness products from February to March.

“The information the media has obtained is incomplete, out of context, and not reflective of Peloton’s strategy,” Foley wrote, without offering more details.

He said Peloton will announce more details on the reductions when it releases its quarterly earnings report Feb. 8. The company separately released preliminary results for the three months that ended in December, showing it expects to report a loss of between $260 million and $270 million, from revenue of about $1.14 billion.

Peloton:

Peloton became a must-have exercise solution, for people who could afford it, when the pandemic led to gym closures and more people working from home. Owners of its stationary bikes and treadmills have access to instructor-led workouts, and several of its trainers have loyal fan bases even outside the workout app.

Peloton bikes start at $1,495, with the newest model, the Peloton Bike+ costing $2,495.

But the company’s fortunes have shifted abruptly over the past year. Early last year, it faced complaints over delayed deliveries and hours spent waiting for customer service representatives. In May, Peloton had to recall its Tread+ and Tread treadmills after reports of several injuries and one death of a child linked to them.

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More recently — as more countries began to lift lockdown restrictions and businesses started reopening, and people were less inclined to work out at home — demand for Peloton’s equipment slowed sharply. And it faces growing competition, including from less expensive bikes that people can use with the programming on Peloton’s app.

The company also had to contend with an unflattering cameo on HBO’s “And Just Like That,” which debuted in December, with a character dying after stepping off his Peloton bike.

The challenges left the company’s stock down 76% in 2021.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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