DW Sports, which operates 73 gyms and 75 stores across the UK, said it plans to enter into administration. All of its stores will close, but DW plans to work with administrators from BDO to save as many gyms as possible.

Martin Long, group chief executive said: “As a consequence of COVID-19, we found ourselves in a position where we were mandated by Government to close down both our retail store portfolio and our gym chain in its entirety for a protracted period, leaving us with a high fixed cost base and zero income.

“Like many other retail businesses, the consequences of this extremely challenging operating market have created inevitable profitability issues for DW Sports. The decision to appoint administrators has not been taken lightly but will give us the best chance to protect viable parts of the business, return them to profitability, and secure as many jobs as possible.”

DW Sports said it will work with the administrators to save as many gyms as possible but that some would inevitably close. At present, 59 gyms have reopened in England and Northern Ireland while the remaining 14 sites in England, Scotland and Wales are currently unable to open due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Long added: “It is a difficult model for any business to manage through without long term damage, and with the limited support which we have been able to gain. Having exhausted all other available options for the business, we firmly believe that this process can be a platform to restructure the business and preserve many of our gyms for our members, and also protect the maximum number of jobs possible for our team members.”

Fitness First, which is part of the same group and operates 43 health clubs, will remain unaffected by the administration.

Photo courtesy DW Sports