Smart home fitness trainer Tonal tripling its retail presence via Nordstrom deal

The home fitness industry and associated retail stores that sell equipment and apparel got a huge boost in 2020 as many fitness enthusiasts ramped up their home workout routines. Dick’s Sporting Goods, for example, had a record-setting sales year in 2020, while major gym franchises like Planet Fitness suffered significant revenue declines. As more and more people seek to improve their health while staying home, there’s a huge opportunity for smart home fitness companies to expand their customer base.

Tonal, which claims to be the “smartest” home gym, is aiming to capitalize on the situation by radically increasing its retail footprint. The company recently announced a partnership with department store chain Nordstrom to sell its smart fitness equipment in over 40 locations across the US, including flagship stores in Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago. While many Americans lean towards online shopping, a visit to one of the Nordstrom stores will now enable interested fitness enthusiasts to book a demo and see if Tonal fits their home workout needs.

In addition to coaching, Tonal’s system offers users training that leverages AI to dynamically adapt to their strength and exercise program as they progress. With machine learning, Tonal also utilizes 17 sensors that analyze and correct a person’s form – the company says that this can help prevent injuries and “make sure you’re always getting the optimum workout.”

Smart technologies are already having an impact on entertainment, security, cooking, and energy usage – as more advanced AI is introduced, no industry will be left untouched. For fitness companies, there’s no better time to get in on the “smart” trend.  According to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, 44% of US consumers, aged 13-65, now work out at home, which is up dramatically from 18% a year earlier. The biggest opportunity for smart fitness companies is with Millennials, as well over a third regularly work out at home.