Up to 100 left jobless as leading gym chain closes
UP to 100 jobs have been lost and thousands of people could be left out of pocket following the sudden closure of one of the country's biggest gym chains.
Total Fitness, which operated three large gyms in Dublin, closed at midnight on Wednesday and a liquidator will be appointed in the coming days.
The company, which runs another 21 gyms in England, had employed 80 full-time staff at its Castleknock, Malahide Road and Sandyford facilities, and approximately 20 part-time.
Four years ago its total Irish membership was put at 25,000 people, but there are currently 15,300 members in the three Dublin gyms.
A spokeswoman last night blamed high rents for the collapse of the business.
"The company was advised that the rents were significantly above market rates and, in order to safeguard the future of the clubs, numerous attempts were made to speak with the landlord to revise the leases of the properties," she said.
"Regrettably, the closures have resulted in 80 redundancies across the three clubs, and staff have been informed."
Once a liquidator is appointed, members of the chain who have paid joining fees and subscription charges will become creditors of the company.
"I paid upfront for the year about three weeks ago," one gym member told the Irish Independent last night.
"It was €395 for the year, and my husband has just paid too -- I'm definitely irate.
"I was there yesterday and one of the girls mentioned that there were rumours about it closing down and that management had changed the payment structure to a direct debit of €49 a month."
Some staff at the gyms turned up for work early yesterday morning only to discover the locks had been changed. It is understood that many personal trainers have had their expensive gear locked inside."
A meeting has been called to appoint a liquidator.