This is one in an ongoing series of profiles with individuals that are featured in the annual ‘Retail Insider Movers & Shakers in Retail Top 100‘ – this month Managing Director International of media and fitness company Peloton – Kevin Cornils.
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1.What is the greatest opportunity for your business?
I truly believe that Peloton has reinvented the fitness category. It’s a unique combination of hardware, software and content; and we often describe it as boutique fitness with a 2ft commute. You no longer have to live in a major city to get the benefit of boutique fitness classes – and the immersive experience of riding with Peloton means you are motivated to train like never before. If you look at other categories, entertainment, for example, we’ve seen a shift where consumers now access movies from home, rather than going to the cinema. We see the same thing happening with fitness – If you can get a better experience at a more convenient location, it could theoretically replace the need to belong to a gym
2. What is the biggest challenge to your business?
We’ve put a ton of thought and engineering into our product (the Peloton Bike), which we believe to be the best out there. That being said, we’re always thinking about how we can continue to innovate for our Members, whether that’s through new App features or content formats etc.
3. With the benefit of hindsight what would you have been done differently so far?
We were incredibly focussed on technology and getting the product right in the early days of Peloton and, whilst it’s not something we would have done differently, we’ve been pleasantly surprised that such a strong community has emerged. We have over two million Members who regularly come together for rides at our studios, showroom meet-ups and at our annual Member event, Homecoming.
4. What technology-related plans have you got for the next 12 months?
Our R&D team is always working on ideas and, in the last year, we’ve introduced lots of new features, including an improved home screen on the bike, which brings personalised class recommendations front and centre, as well as marathon training programmes and we’ve launched on Amazon Fire TV. Many of these have been launched based on member feedback. Ultimately, our true north star is ensuring that members have the best experience possible — whatever innovations we may have on the horizon.
5. What other businesses do you admire?
Innovative companies that are re-defining a category always stand out to me. The way Netflix revolutionised film, for example, and it’s what we’re doing for fitness i.e. digitising and scaling an experience, so that more people can access boutique studio style workouts from the comfort and convenience of home.
6. What’s keeping you awake at night?
It’s a really exciting time for us all at Peloton. Since launch in the UK, we’ve opened eight showrooms, where you can try the Bike, announced four instructors and have a fast growing community of UK-based members. This year, we’re excited to launch our studio in Covent Garden. We’re also continuing to focus our international expansion efforts in the UK and Germany. We launched in the latter country in 2019, as our first non-English speaking market.