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The Gym Group expects to be in profit on reopening
POSTED 13 Jul 2020 . BY Liz Terry
CEO, Richard Darwin says The Gym Group contributed to the government's reopening guidelines Credit: The Gym Group
Publicly listed operator, The Gym Group (TGG) says it has retained 80 per cent of its members during lockdown, while internal research shows it expects 92 per cent to return.

All memberships were frozen on 20 March and TGG says it received a significant number of cancellations initially, but that this rate slowed, leaving 692,000 members at 9 July, vs 870,000 on 18 March.

CEO, Richard Darwin, said: "We're 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."

Because TGG only requires 60 per cent of its membership to be active to achieve 'cash neutrality', broker, Peel Hunt, is currently tipping the company with a Buy rating. Shares are trading around 150p against a high in February of 300p, giving a market capitalisation of £253.79m.

TGG raised around £41m through a share issue on 16 April to help it weather the effects of the shutdown, by placing 27.4m new ordinary shares at 150p each.

The company will reopen the majority of its sites on 25 July, but will still offer members the chance to extend the freezing on their membership if they don't feel confident to return, or cannot attend during the – initially more limited – opening hours.

The majority of the TGG's 179 gyms will operate from 6.00am to 10.00pm during the week and from 8.00am to 8.00pm at weekends – 23 sites will initially have shorter hours, opening 8.00am-8.00pm during the week and 9.00am to 5.00pm at weekends. Scottish sites will remain closed awaiting an announcement.

Two sites in Leicester will not reopen due to local lockdown, while London's Oxford Street gym is currently closed for refurbishment.

TGG says it will start trials of its standard 24/7 operating model in a "small number of sites" within weeks, with the aim of returning to 24/7 operations more widely "in the next few months".

“Opening safely is our primary concern," said Darwin, "We're pleased to have been able to work with Government and the rest of the health and fitness sector to determine how best to operate in a COVID-secure way."

TGG will operate in line with the DCMS framework and has also collaborated with Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre to create its own #safewithus operating protocol, which is based on six core principles – listed in the notes below.

The Gym Group's #safewithus protocol
1. SHIELD

Avoid infected people visiting the gym

• Reinforcing Government guidelines to colleagues and members with symptoms to stay at home
• Temperature checks for all colleagues at the start of each shift
• Providing options for members to continue to freeze their membership for free

2. PREVENT

Reducing the risk of infection from contact on surfaces

• Contactless entry to be available in all gyms at re-opening
• Promoting hand-washing and providing hand sanitiser throughout the gym
• Rigorous cleaning and disinfection regimes, including the use of electrostatic sanitisation spray equipment
• Provision of cleaning materials to members for cleaning equipment after use

3. LIMIT

Reducing the social interaction between people

• Restricting the number of people in the gym at any one time to one member per 100 sq ft, in line with Government guidelines, using portal access technology
• Encouraging visits during quieter periods by providing members with a ‘Gym Busyness’ tracker, in the app and on the website, with live and recent historical information on usage patterns in their gym

4. REDUCE

Reducing the risk of infection from airborne transmission

• Enabling social distancing by wider spacing of equipment, revised gym layout and use of screens for additional protection
• Encouraging social distancing with communications in the gym via wall posters, digital screens and floor markings
• Utilising best-in-class fresh air ventilation systems

5. SUPPORT

Identifying and supporting vulnerable people

• Providing information and guidance to known vulnerable groups
• Identifying vulnerable staff and moving them away from frontline roles
• Promoting home exercise – including a discounted offer for digital at-home fitness classes with partner, Fiit

6. EDUCATE

Explaining, training and ingraining safe practice in the gym

• Providing appropriate training and understanding to all colleagues
• Clear communications to members before visiting, on arrival and at all relevant points in the gym

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Jobs   News   Products   Magazine
NEWS
The Gym Group expects to be in profit on reopening
POSTED 13 Jul 2020 . BY Liz Terry
CEO, Richard Darwin says The Gym Group contributed to the government's reopening guidelines Credit: The Gym Group
Publicly listed operator, The Gym Group (TGG) says it has retained 80 per cent of its members during lockdown, while internal research shows it expects 92 per cent to return.

All memberships were frozen on 20 March and TGG says it received a significant number of cancellations initially, but that this rate slowed, leaving 692,000 members at 9 July, vs 870,000 on 18 March.

CEO, Richard Darwin, said: "We're 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."

Because TGG only requires 60 per cent of its membership to be active to achieve 'cash neutrality', broker, Peel Hunt, is currently tipping the company with a Buy rating. Shares are trading around 150p against a high in February of 300p, giving a market capitalisation of £253.79m.

TGG raised around £41m through a share issue on 16 April to help it weather the effects of the shutdown, by placing 27.4m new ordinary shares at 150p each.

The company will reopen the majority of its sites on 25 July, but will still offer members the chance to extend the freezing on their membership if they don't feel confident to return, or cannot attend during the – initially more limited – opening hours.

The majority of the TGG's 179 gyms will operate from 6.00am to 10.00pm during the week and from 8.00am to 8.00pm at weekends – 23 sites will initially have shorter hours, opening 8.00am-8.00pm during the week and 9.00am to 5.00pm at weekends. Scottish sites will remain closed awaiting an announcement.

Two sites in Leicester will not reopen due to local lockdown, while London's Oxford Street gym is currently closed for refurbishment.

TGG says it will start trials of its standard 24/7 operating model in a "small number of sites" within weeks, with the aim of returning to 24/7 operations more widely "in the next few months".

“Opening safely is our primary concern," said Darwin, "We're pleased to have been able to work with Government and the rest of the health and fitness sector to determine how best to operate in a COVID-secure way."

TGG will operate in line with the DCMS framework and has also collaborated with Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre to create its own #safewithus operating protocol, which is based on six core principles – listed in the notes below.

The Gym Group's #safewithus protocol
1. SHIELD

Avoid infected people visiting the gym

• Reinforcing Government guidelines to colleagues and members with symptoms to stay at home
• Temperature checks for all colleagues at the start of each shift
• Providing options for members to continue to freeze their membership for free

2. PREVENT

Reducing the risk of infection from contact on surfaces

• Contactless entry to be available in all gyms at re-opening
• Promoting hand-washing and providing hand sanitiser throughout the gym
• Rigorous cleaning and disinfection regimes, including the use of electrostatic sanitisation spray equipment
• Provision of cleaning materials to members for cleaning equipment after use

3. LIMIT

Reducing the social interaction between people

• Restricting the number of people in the gym at any one time to one member per 100 sq ft, in line with Government guidelines, using portal access technology
• Encouraging visits during quieter periods by providing members with a ‘Gym Busyness’ tracker, in the app and on the website, with live and recent historical information on usage patterns in their gym

4. REDUCE

Reducing the risk of infection from airborne transmission

• Enabling social distancing by wider spacing of equipment, revised gym layout and use of screens for additional protection
• Encouraging social distancing with communications in the gym via wall posters, digital screens and floor markings
• Utilising best-in-class fresh air ventilation systems

5. SUPPORT

Identifying and supporting vulnerable people

• Providing information and guidance to known vulnerable groups
• Identifying vulnerable staff and moving them away from frontline roles
• Promoting home exercise – including a discounted offer for digital at-home fitness classes with partner, Fiit

6. EDUCATE

Explaining, training and ingraining safe practice in the gym

• Providing appropriate training and understanding to all colleagues
• Clear communications to members before visiting, on arrival and at all relevant points in the gym

RELATED STORIES
Gym Group reveals lively reopening video explaining COVID-19 protocols


UK budget operator, The Gym Group, has revealed its new reopening video for customers, fronted by CEO, Richard Darwin, with support from team members.
Buy shares in Gym Group says Peel Hunt, as gym reopenings in Europe raise hopes of recovery


Corporate broking and advisory firm, Peel Hunt, has issued a 'buy' recommendation for shares in The Gym Group.
Exclusive: Xercise4Less tells HCM it's up for sale


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Channel 4 comedian Rosie Jones mystery shopped gyms for accessibility – guess which operator passed the test


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Boris Johnson pays secret visit to The Gym Group South Ruislip
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Planet Fitness share price holds steady despite Q2 losses of US$29.2m
Planet Fitness' share price on the New York Stock Exchange has remained steady at between US$49 and US$52 as the markets react well to the posting of quarterly earnings, despite the gym chain reporting big drops in both revenue and profit during Q2 2020.
Planet Fitness and Life Time gym chains make face masks mandatory at all times, apart from when working out
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Gympass partners with F45 Training to bring functional team training to world's largest corporate fitness platform
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Improve your training experience. All your data in a single app. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

16-19 Aug 2020

SPATEC Spring North America

Ritz-Carlton, Miami, United States
16-19 Aug 2020

The WELL Conference

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale, United States
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2020

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