If you're into living a healthy, sustainable lifestyle, Gaiam is your kind of company. The name Gaiam (pronounced "guy-um") is a combination of Gaia (the Earth goddess) and "I am." Most of the company's sales come from proprietary products and media for consumers interested in yoga, fitness, and wellness. Other merchandise includes organic cotton apparel, bedding, and personal care and home care products. Gaiam boasts a library of more than 6,000 DVD titles and a TV channel. It also owns a stake in Real Goods Solar, which designs and installs solar energy systems. Gaiam's offerings are sold through catalogs, its e-commerce site, and major retailers (including Barnes & Noble, Target, and Whole Foods).
Colorado-based Gaiam rings up more than 95% of its sales in the US. Other markets include Australia, Canada, and the UK.
Sales and Marketing
Gaiam's fitness accessories and media titles are sold in more than 38,000 stores worldwide. Its largest customer is Target, which accounted for 44% of its accounts receivable in 2013. Other retail outlets that carry the company's products include Wal-Mart Stores, Amazon.com, Costco, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Sports Authority, Whole Foods, among others.
Gaiam reported sales of $155.5 million in 2013, a decline of 23% versus 2012. (When sales are adjusted for the deconsolidation of the company's Real Goods Solar business, sales rose 22% year over year.) Nevertheless, Gaiam has struggled to grow sales in recent years and hasn't turned a profit since 2010. Sales drivers for the company include its Gaiam Restore and SPRI products lines and increased sales performance at its top 25 retail clients.
Gaiam has established itself as a leading lifestyle media company with products and services geared to consumers interested in personal growth, fitness, wellness, ecological lifestyles, and responsible media. The company's efforts to strengthen its brand include growing its media library to more than 6,000 titles through acquisitions and internal development, developing more proprietary products (93% of sales), increasing its focus on the direct-to-consumer channel, and expanding its store-within-store presence at national retailers.
The company has been making an impression through entertainment for years. It controls about 39% of the fitness/wellness DVD market (up from 34% in 2009). Its library consists of wellness franchises such as The Firm and Tae Bo, children's classics, and numerous theatrical releases, and its selection continues to grow. It has expanded its celebrity fitness category by adding programs with Trudie Styler, Marisa Tomei, and Bob Greene. Gaiam plans to continue expanding its offerings to include titles on wellness and sustainable living. To reach a wider audience, the company launched GaiamTV in 2011 and now offers a subscription video on-demand service. To bolster its position in the online market, Gaiam has established various websites and Internet-based subscription clubs and has been acquiring apps.
Gaiam branched out into the solar energy market with Real Goods Solar (RGS), a subsidiary it took public in 2008. Since then the company incrementally decreased its stake in RGS to less than 20%.
Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestments
Strengthening its core yoga franchise, in October 2014 Gaiam acquired Yoga Studio, a top ranked yoga app on Apple's App Stores. The purchase will allow Gaiam to expand its distribution in the app space. In late 2013 the company acquired My Yoga Online, Canada's largest online yoga video streaming subscription business and merged it with Gaiam TV.
In October 2013, Gaiam sold its non-branded entertainment media distribution operations to Cinedigm Corp. for $51.5 million, to better focus on its core businesses.
Chairman Jirka Rysavy, founder of Corporate Express, started Gaiam in 1988. Rysavy owns about 25% of the company.