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Gym Group loses 20% of members as reopening beckons

By Sean Farrell

Date: Friday 10 Jul 2020

Gym Group loses 20% of members as reopening beckons

(Sharecast News) - The Gym Group said it lost 20% of its members during the Covid-19 lockdown as it announced plans to reopen reopen nine in 10 of its sites when restrictions are eased on 25 July.
The budget gym company said 160 branches in England would be open for fitness enthusiasts on 25 July, the first day of the shutdown's removal. It said 13 gyms in Scotland and three in Wales would follow as soon as possible after local restrictions were lifted.

The company closed its gyms on 20 March as the UK entered lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19. It said there was an early rush of membership cancellations but that the rate had slowed. Membership has fallen to 692,000 from 870,000 since the start of lockdown

Gym Group, whose sites normally operate 24 hours a day, said gyms would open 6am-10pm on weekdays and 8am-8pm at weekends at first to bed in new protocols. These include temperature checks for staff, more cleaning of equipment, wider spacing of equipment and use of shields. The company said its research showed 92% of members were keen to return to the gym.

Richard Darwin, Gym Group's chief executive, said: "We are in the process of un-furloughing our colleagues, who will be ready to open the doors of our gyms in England on 25 July and in the other home nations once restrictions are lifted.

"We are encouraged by the response of our members, the vast majority of whom are keen to get back to the gym to begin working out again. We look forward to welcoming them back and being able to continue providing affordable fitness for all."

Gym Group shares rose 1.7% to 152.4p at 08:18 BST.

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