• Pep just launched a new gym gear range.
  • The value retailer is now selling exercise wheels, waist pouches, skipping ropes and yoga mats.
  • Pep seeks to tap into the pandemic's home fitness trend: more South Africans are now exercising at home.
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Value retailer Pep is now selling gym gear such as exercise wheels, and weights.

“As we found ourselves working from home, we as a business unit felt the need to explore home fitness options,” Pep’s communication manager Mariki Schwiebus told Business Insider South Africa.

“We, therefore, began to source a home fitness range that would complement our existing assortment, but also encompass the changes we were going through,” she said.

Last year, SA's gyms were forced to closed for five months as part of government's lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19. And even after their doors opened in August, many members were hesitant to return. Virgin Active reported that by November, only 57% of members had returned to gyms.

Forced to adapt, Virgin Active and other gyms have launched digital services, where instructors conduct workouts online.

This has further encouraged a shift away from physical gyms to home workouts, increasing the demand for gym equipment that people can use at home.

Pep's new gym gear range. (Image: Supplied/Pep)
Pep's new gym gear range has exercise wheels and training belly waists. (Image: Supplied/Pep)
Pep's new gym gear range. (Image: Supplied/Pep)

Pep's new range includes yoga mats that are sold for for R89.99, exercise wheels (used to tone abs, arms, shoulders and back muscles) costing R69.99, and stretch bands for R29.99. It also has skipping ropes for R19.99, 2kg and 4kg weights for R39.99 and R79.99 respectively - as well water bottles, hand grips and stretch straps.

“These items support the ability to train at home in a small space. The quality is excellent, and the prices are affordable,” Schwiebus said.

"We believe the core range of items is an excellent start to see what our customers are most needing. Our range is small, focussing on key items only,” she said.

The retailer said sales so far were “fantastic”.

Casparus Treurnicht, portfolio manager at Gryphon Asset Management, says Pep will have to compete with Mr Price Sport, which is a "very aggressive" market player in this niche.

But he thinks that as the economic downturn forces higher-income earners - who currently shop at Sportmans Warehouse and Totalsports - to become more price sensitive and "trade down", this may boost demand for Pep's offering.

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