Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Workout equipment, food steamers and gaming consoles among items up for rent for people serving SHN

SINGAPORE — After returning from Canada in December last year, Ms Ginny Leow, 51, bought books and a small basketball hoop to occupy her 13-year-old son while they served their 14-day stay-home notice (SHN) in a small hotel room for two weeks.

Ms Ginny Leow rented an exercise bike from equipment rental company Sweatspot while she and her 13-year-old son served their 14-day stay-home notice in a small hotel room for two weeks.

Ms Ginny Leow rented an exercise bike from equipment rental company Sweatspot while she and her 13-year-old son served their 14-day stay-home notice in a small hotel room for two weeks.

Singapore

Follow us on Instagram and Tiktok, and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.

  • With no end in sight for the Covid-19 pandemic, more firms are offering rental services to people serving stay-home notice
  • Most rent out workout gear such as exercise bikes and yoga mats
  • Sweatspot SG has since seen an average of eight customers daily who took up their SHN package
  • One firm expanded its catalogue of products for rent to include household items

 

SINGAPORE — After returning from Canada in December last year, Ms Ginny Leow, 51, bought books and a small basketball hoop to occupy her 13-year-old son while they served their 14-day stay-home notice (SHN) in a small hotel room for two weeks.

But it did not take long until the feeling of being in a “high-class prison” kicked in, so Ms Leow thought the best way to release their pent-up energy was to rent an exercise bike.

“I joked with my friends that I rented the bike to bring out my inner hamster,” said Ms Leow, who has another daughter aged 17. “Exercising keeps you on a routine, makes you feel alive even when you are alone and the endorphins probably help to relieve the stress of being cooped up.”

Ms Leow paid S$350 to rent the bike for two weeks from equipment rental company Sweatspot SG.

Mr Ian Berclaz, who founded the company in March last year, said they were initially providing equipment rental services to those stuck at home during the circuit breaker last April.

“Almost immediately, when Singapore rolled out the mandatory SHN to travellers, we thought this is a market we can tap,” said the 47-year-old.

And they were right, as customers quickly made bookings as soon as they launched.

“One of my customers had run out of ways to exercise in his small hotel room. He actually pushed his bed to the middle of the room and ran around it every day,” said Mr Berclaz.

Sweatspot SG has since seen a daily average of eight customers who took up their SHN package, which consists of rental of one exercise bike, a pair of dumbbells, one yoga mat and a subscription to online exercise videos.

Mr Berclaz said the biggest challenge is reaching prospective customers, who are usually from out of the country.

BEYOND EXERCISE EQUIPMENTS

With no end in sight for the Covid-19 pandemic, more firms offering similar services have also been sprouting up.

In February, Ms Mounia Nasser, 36, started SHN Sport, which provides sports equipment rental to travellers serving SHN.

Along with her business partner, Ms Nasser thought of the business idea when her friend asked her to send his exercise bike to the hotel he was serving his SHN at after returning from France.

“He trained for 14 days and rode almost 40km a day on his bike. He found that training not only kept him fit during SHN but entertained and distracted him, and allowed him to stay focused during work hours,” she said.

With the aim of helping customers “care for their mind, body and soul”, Ms Nasser said once an order placed on its website is processed, the equipment would be delivered on the same day.

Rental rates range from S$128 to S$185 for 14 days according to the type of bike, she added.

“We then collect the equipment at the concierge to clean and sanitise for the next customer,” said Ms Nasser.

Although she declined to reveal the number of bookings SHN Sport has seen, Ms Nasser said their exercise bikes have been highly requested. The pair is also looking to expand their catalogue of items as demand grows.

Workout equipment may be popular among those who want their cardio fix, but there are also others who might need items they commonly find at home.

That is why Mr David Lee, 35, provides rental services for “anything one might need during quarantine”.

Having experienced SHN twice, the founder of Happy SHN provides rental for items such as food steamers, laser printers, a microwave and even a gaming console.

Customers can also send in a request for products that are not listed in the catalogue, said Mr Lee.

He came up with the idea after having to serve SHN upon returning from South Korea in May and the United Kingdom in December, where his experiences being confined to two different hotels varied.

While the first hotel had everything he needed — he even had an Espresso machine in the room — the second one left him wishing for things like a vacuum cleaner, a humidifier and a fan.

“The room was dry and dusty but all the hotel could provide was a broom, which I understood because they couldn't possibly provide a vacuum cleaner for every room.

“I contemplated buying the vacuum cleaner online, but after some consideration about the delivery time, cost-effectiveness of buying a full product just for 14 days and what to do with it after the SHN, I dropped the idea,” said Mr Lee.

To rent products from Happy SHN, customers place a deposit, which depends on the value of the item, and the rental fees will be deducted from the deposit while the remaining amount will be refunded after the rental period ends.

It can cost about S$300 to rent an air purifier and S$80 for a vacuum cleaner for two weeks.

“There is definitely a demand for services like this,” said Mr Lee. “Since Singapore is looking to become the vaccine distribution hub in Asia, I think we will have put in place SHNs much longer than the rest of the countries.”

Related topics

stay-home notice exercise sports equipment rental Covid-19

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.