When the coronavirus outbreak spread across the United States in early 2020, it dramatically changed the daily lives of Americans -- including the way we exercise. Since gyms were no longer an option (and still aren't in some areas), people needed to figure out a way to get effective workouts at home, and fitness technology company Peloton Interactive (PTON 4.29%) was a major beneficiary.
In fact, at many times during the pandemic, the company had trouble making and delivering enough bikes to keep up with demand.
Not surprisingly, Peloton's stock has been one of the market's best performers. The company, which sells high-end fitness equipment such as its signature stationary bike as well as subscriptions to classes, has thrived in 2020. As a result, its stock has more than quadrupled. A $1,000 investment in Peloton at the start of the year would now be worth $4,055.
Will Peloton thrive in a post-pandemic world?
The billion-dollar question when it comes to Peloton, as well as other stocks benefiting from the stay-at-home economy is: What happens after the COVID-19 pandemic is over? Will people continue to exercise at home, or will many of Peloton's users go back to the gym?
There's no way to know for sure how consumers will act in a post-pandemic world, but one interesting thing to keep in mind is that Peloton's customers had a large upfront expense.
For context: Someone who decided to buy a Zoom (ZM 0.62%) subscription to continue to have meetings during the pandemic simply pays a monthly cost. On the other hand, someone who already paid about $2,000 for an exercise bike might think twice about canceling their $39 monthly membership that is needed to make the bike useful.