Peloton to opt for DIY bike assembly instead of the white-glove treatment

In a move away from premium white-glove service, Peloton plans to redesign its bikes for at-home unboxing and self-assembly, to further slash costs on the heels of a third round of layoffs at the company.

Peloton CEO Barry McCarthy told Bloomberg that the company is aiming to redesign its bikes and treads, to eliminate the need for a professional crew to deliver, unbox, and assemble the machines – a service that was free prior to February but now costs $250 to $350. To broader its user base even wider, Peloton is also considering a plan to allow owners of third-party bikes or treadmills to stream Peloton content via other at-home machines.

In other big news, he says that the much-anticipated Peloton Rower might see the light of day this holiday season as well as the return of Tread Plus, which was recalled two years ago after several accidents and the death of a small child. McCarthy said the company is still waiting on clearance from the government to release the revised machine.

“We’re hopeful to have [the rower] for the holiday season,” McCarthy said. The device will be Peloton’s first new fitness machine since it launched a lower-end treadmill two years ago, though it did release a Guide device for watching Peloton content on a TV set earlier this year.

The New York-based fitness company plans to lay off another 800 workers, making it a total of nearly 3,000 so far this year, and will raise the price of its workout machines and begin outsourcing deliveries. As of next year, Peloton retail in North America will be reduced significantly, all in an effort to turn things around for the struggling company.

In other tidbits from the interview, McCarthy added that Peloton may lean toward a “freemium” model for its premium app that would unlock some content from behind its paywall, similar in strategy to Apple Fitness Plus. Also, it looks like Peloton will likely continue with its One Peloton Club leasing program, a pilot that launched earlier this year, which according to the company has been a big success with “mass market appeal.”


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