Back in March, it was revealed that struggling fitness company LA Fitness was to sell off some of its gyms in a major restructuring of its business. You can read more here.
Now it would appear that Mike Ashley, founder and owner of retailer Sports Direct has made moves to secure the leases on on approx 30 LA Fitness gyms. This would add fitness facilities to his portfolio comprising the sports retailing giant, and ownership of well-known sports brands Dunlop and Slazenger.
The deal is yet to be done but sounds like he is serious about its acquisition. It has not yet been revealed how much Mr Ashley is to pay for the 30 gyms, and Sports Direct have refused to comment.
You can read the full story from Sky News here.
We await developments with interest.
Big news for the fitness industry this week with the announcement by LA Fitness of the major restructuring of its business. It’s the rumour that’s been circulating for a while now and it was becoming ever clearer that they were struggling to maintain pace with the competition. Occupying mid-market is a dangerous place with the budget operators providing such compelling offerings at rock bottom prices.
Rivals Fitness First, also a survivor of a CVA (company voluntary arrangement) process, have subsequently moved to position themselves towards the sub premium market to avoid clashes with the low-cost operators. Have LA Fitness fallen foul of just that fate?
And what of the fallout? Once the rivals have picked over the bones, will the sector have enough opportunities for the better employees or will we lose yet more experienced operators to other industries? LA Fitness claim that the majority of employees will be taken on by the new operators under a TUPE structure, but if new owners can’t be found for the 33 clubs it has put up for sale, what then?
For a full list of the clubs for sale, and for more information, please visit the LA Fitness website.
If you’d like to know more about employee rights under TUPE, please visit ACAS, or watch this handy video.