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Peloton delays opening of $400 million US factory as demand tanks: source

Peloton is delaying the opening of a $400 million US factory by a year because the company is stuck with a glut of exercise machines and too little demand, sources tell The Post. The Troy Township, Ohio, factory will now open in 2024 rather than 2023, a current employee said. The delay is expected to save between $100 million and $200 million during the fiscal year 2022 to 2023, the source said. Meanwhile, Peloton’s warehouse and delivery centers have had their hours cut to 20 hours per week amid lower demand for exercise equipment, another source close to the company said. The news comes as Peloton plans to temporarily halt production of its bike and treadmill products for several weeks amid plummeting demand, CNBC reported on Thursday. The company plans to pause bike production for February and March, while treadmill production will be halted for six weeks starting next month, the site reported. The company doesn’t expect to produce any pricey Tread+ machines in fiscal year 2022, according to the report. Peloton shares were recently off nearly 25% at $24.07 on Thursday afternoon after being halted multiple times on volatility. The company did not respond to requests from The Post for comment. A current Peloton employee told The Post that the company had been scaling back production at factories in North Carolina and Washington to a “snails’ pace” for months prior to the reported pause in an attempt to “keep [workers] happy and the public quiet without announcing a shutdown.” Peloton currently has about 500 days worth of bike and treadmill inventory on hand, the employee added. Prior to the pandemic, the company would only have on a few months of inventory on hand any given moment — and during the boom times in late 2020 and early 2021, Peloton had essentially no backup inventory, according to the employee. In one attempt to clear out the excess of machines, Peloton slashed prices during a 2021 Black Friday sale. The promotion boosted year-over-year sales by double or even triple digits for a few days but demand dropped off immediately after the promotion ended, according to company figures shared with The Post by a source close to the company. Peloton’s pandemic-era boom spurred the company to dramatically scale up production, buying up competitors and breaking ground on the Ohio factory in an event attended by Gov. Mike DeWine and Peloton CEO John Foley in August. Even before the factory has opened, Peloton is stuck with with too much production capacity and too little demand. “Peloton built up a meaningful inventory right before demand faltered,” BMO Capital retail analyst Simeon Siegel told The Post. “Now there is more supply than demand.”

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