CLMBR Lays Off Staff, Shutters LA Studio


Smart equipment brands are adjusting to the post-pandemic landscape.

The latest: Makers of a connected vertical climbing machine, CLMBR laid off an unspecified number of workers this week.

Posting to LinkedIn, former employees said they were told the company was “closing its doors.”

However, in an email to Fitt Insider, CLMBR CEO Avrum Elmakis said the company is not closing or filing for bankruptcy. Instead, Elmakis said the layoffs—and the decision to close its LA studio—were made to reduce costs.

While its Denver group fitness studio and HQ remain open, the company is restructuring “in anticipation of a strategic transaction”

For context: Scaling during the pandemic, CLMBR raised upward of $26M from the likes of Jay-Z, Pitbull, and Novak Djokovic.

But, as gyms reopened and consumer behavior shifted, Elmakis noted the new market dynamics last summer, explaining how “everything kind of changed”:

“Markets have changed dramatically this year, certainly for everyone in our category — Peloton and others. The hypergrowth just isn’t there right now.”

Flash-forward a year and, despite announcing its 02 machine and adding new funding in December, the company is being forced to revise its strategy.

Zooming out: CLMBR joins a growing list of connected fitness companies confronting post-pandemic headwinds. lululemon recently laid off 100 staffers associated with its MIRROR hardware division. Tonal saw its workforce and valuation cut this spring amid slowing sales. And Peloton is attempting to engineer a turnaround after cutting nearly 3K jobs.

Takeaway: While CLMBR’s outlook remains in flux for now, it’s clear that exercise seekers will dictate the future of fitness — choosing from the IRL, at-home, and on-the-go options that meet their evolving needs.

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