What happened

Typically, when a company announces that it has opened new sales and/or distribution channels for its goods, its investors react positively. That wasn't the case with Peloton Interactive (PTON -0.70%) on Wednesday, however. Shares of the once-popular exercise equipment maker fell by nearly 8% on the day after it announced an expansion of an existing distribution deal.

So what

Before market open, Peloton divulged that it is expanding its partnership with mighty retailer Amazon (AMZN 3.49%). Peloton's exercise equipment is now available for purchase at Amazon's online store in the U.K., and will start appearing in listings for the online retail giant's Germany site "in the coming weeks," Peloton said.

The company's exercise bikes are shipped unassembled. As with the U.S. Amazon site, though, customers in mainland U.K. -- i.e., everywhere but Northern Ireland -- buying through the online retailer will have the option of "expert" on-site assembly, which is offered free of charge. Peloton didn't mention whether German consumers will have the same choice.

Peloton began offering its equipment and apparel through Amazon in late August.

In the press release trumpeting the expansion of that arrangement into Europe, Peloton's General Manager for International Manu Seigner said, "Further expanding our distribution channels through Amazon is our latest move to make Peloton readily accessible and to meet our members where they are."

Now what

On the surface of it, this news seems unambiguously positive. Peloton is transitioning from a direct-to-consumer manufacturer to one eager and willing to distribute through major channels like Amazon. That should help it move more of those exercise bikes.

But perhaps this provides an uncomfortable reminder to investors that the company continues to struggle. Its sales and engagement figures have come down significantly of late, as the world attempts to get past the coronavirus pandemic. The regular in-home exercising trend that took hold in the thick of the pandemic now looks more like a fad borne of necessity rather than a long-term shift.