More iFit employees in Utah lost their jobs Monday, as the Logan-based company announced its latest round of layoffs after an exercise boom swelled its workforce during the pandemic.
The company would not disclose its current number of employees; however, a spokesperson said Monday that previous layoffs had trimmed the number to around 1,600 before this week’s reduction.
It also would not disclose the exact number of employees cut; but the spokesperson said it was a cut of 20%. That would take the number of employees to about or below 1,300, a reduction of around 300 people.
The majority of the company’s jobs are in Utah, the spokesperson said, though she would not specify the number of Utahns who have lost their jobs.
In December of last year, iFIT had more than 2,500 global employees — “our pandemic high,” the spokesperson said, after the company had grown to meet the pandemic demand for exercise gear.
The company designs and sells equipment such as ellipticals, bikes and rowing machines, and sells a subscription service which enables users to do virtual workouts at real-world locations. Demand spiked while people were stuck at home during the pandemic, but it has slowed during recent difficult economic times, the spokesperson said.
The staff reduction will “support our millions of members across the iFIT and Sweat platforms, and position the company for long-term success,” the spokesperson said.
The company handled this round of layoffs “in a much better way than they had in the past,” said Derek Schouten, a former employee in iFIT’s Logan office who was laid off Monday. He had worked with the company for three years.
The layoff notice was direct, and those affected were given the chance to say goodbye to co-workers, he said. “They were very apologetic,” Schouten said, and added, “I get it, it’s a business decision that they needed to make.”
Employees will be given severance packages, the spokesperson said, which “will be individually calculated” with a week’s pay for every year the person has been with the company, up to 12.
“These decisions are always difficult,” a statement shared by the spokesperson said. “We are committed to treating impacted employees with respect, and we thank them for their contributions to the company.”
In October, when Kevin Duffy took over as iFIT’s new CEO, he said it was a “pivotal time” for the business and that he was looking forward to helping to lead it “into a new chapter of growth and innovation,” according to a company statement.
“Macro” factors that contributed to the latest layoff included inflation and interest rates, and additional expenses in the “materials, and logistics and transportation” phases of iFIT’s supply chain, the spokesperson said.
In the statement provided by the spokesperson, iFIT said it “has experienced significant growth globally over the last few years through its eight brands including NordicTrack, Proform, Freemotion and Sweat, with iFIT members in more than 120 countries.
“However, with the pandemic volatility in the fitness space, the challenging macroeconomic environment, and supply chain disruptions, iFIT has made the tough decision to right size the business to continue our path to profitability.”
In 2021, the company sold $2.8 billion in gross merchandise, according to documents it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the process of beginning an initial public offering.
As co-founder of one of iFIT’s early predecessors, 67-year-old apostle Gary E. Stevenson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had been nominated to become a board director and, at the time, stood to gain as much as $911.9 million for nearly 43.4 million iFIT shares he accumulated through the years.
The IPO also would have raised the value of shares for Robert C. Gay, formerly a member of Utah-based faith’s Quorum of the Seventy and co-founder of the company, by millions.
But the company withdrew its request for IPO in April of this year.
Leto Sapunar is a Report for America corps member covering business accountability and sustainability for The Salt Lake Tribune. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep him writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by clicking here.
Correction • 4 p.m., Nov. 14, 2022: This story has been updated to correct a previous characterization of the number of jobs lost in Utah.