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The Year Ahead

Peloton Moves Into Breakaway Mode to Secure Its Sudden Dominance

The fitness company is adding products and classes to widen the lead it opened up during the pandemic.

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Source: Peloton

In March, a couple of weeks after sweeping stay-at-home orders had brought much of the U.S. to a halt, William Lynch says he realized Peloton Interactive Inc. would fare really well in the year of the pandemic. Orders were flooding in from areas under lockdown at such a rate that Peloton halted all its marketing in the U.S. The customers kept coming. Covid-19 “changed everything for Peloton,” says Lynch, the former Barnes & Noble Inc. chief executive who’s been the company’s president since 2017. “We saw what was already a rapidly growing business just explode.”

It’s awkward: booming growth while the novel coronavirus has ravaged families and caused economic upheaval. But Lynch says a broad shift to at-home workouts, which underpins Peloton’s whole business model, was under way well before 2020; the pandemic just sped it up. Now he and his colleagues are working to convince the world that Peloton’s momentum will continue once the virus eventually subsides.