Our supply chain is holding strong during COVID. Here’s why…


“Diversity in a business portfolio is never a bad thing.” This observation – made recently by Humphrey Cobbold, CEO of PureGym – resonated strongly with me.

Cobbold was speaking about PureGym’s acquisition of Fitness World – with its clubs in Denmark, Switzerland and Poland – at the beginning of 2020, looking back at the deal with the benefit of COVID hindsight. “Part of the rationale for the transaction was the geographic diversity,” he explained. “That’s a good thing, generally, because it means you’re not entirely exposed to the economics and situation in one country."

“I didn’t expect it to play out in quite the way it did, with a global viral shutdown and then the Fitness World markets opening before others – we brought in maybe £20m from the Swiss and Danish clubs while the UK clubs were still closed – but I guess it’s proof of that same idea: that diversity in a business portfolio is never a bad thing.”

The reason this resonated so strongly was that we have experienced similar at Physical Company, in terms of our supply chain. Our strategy of diversity – cherry-picking best-in-class brands with which to partner, rather than putting all our eggs in the one proverbial basket – has proven invaluable in the face of COVID turmoil.

In these challenging times, we are incredibly grateful that we have multiple sources on which we can draw to meet demand. That we are not reliant on one factory where we jostle in a queue with numerous other brands to get our order on the production line. Our broad partnership approach in the UK and overseas is proving to be a winning formula.

Because what it means, of course, is that where other cupboards are bare, our warehouse still offers options – even for high-demand home training items such as light and medium free weights.

Just as an example: the 12kg kettlebell. Very hard to find right now, but we can help. Our own Physical-branded 12kg kettlebell will be back in stock soon – the result of an incredibly strong purchasing team who ensure, even in the overstretched factories, that our orders don’t get bumped. But in the meantime, thanks to partnerships with ZIVA and Reaxing – both of which have their own factories and thus control their own pipelines – we have high-quality options already in stock and available for immediate despatch.

Similarly in other product categories, partnerships with brands such as Airex, BOSU, Ecore and Merrithew – among many others – place us in an equally strong position.

In short, the decisions we have taken – the diversity of product sources we have woven into our portfolio – mean we have options available where others don’t. As COVID continues to push the home fitness agenda, and demand for equipment continues to outstrip supply in many parts, we buck the trend. We continue to meet that demand.

Once again, it ensures our mission statement rings absolutely true: Physical Company is, unquestionably, First for Fitness Solutions.