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Gym Group PLC (The) (GYM)

Gym Group PLC (The)

Re-Opening Plan Update
RNS Number : 6012S
Gym Group PLC (The)
10 July 2020
 

10 July 2020

The Gym Group plc

Re-Opening Plan Update

The Gym Group plc ("the Company" or "TGG"), the fast growing, no contract, nationwide operator of 179 low cost gyms, announces that it will be re-opening its gyms in England starting on 25 July 2020.  The details of the plan set out below follow the UK Government's announcement on 9 July 2020 confirming the Covid-secure operating framework for providers of grass roots sports and gym/leisure facilities.

Phased Re-opening

· 1601 sites across England to open 25 July 2020

 

· 13 sites in Scotland and 3 in Wales to follow as soon as possible after relevant local restrictions are lifted

 

· Gyms will initially operate 6am-10pm on weekdays and 8am-8pm on weekends2, enabling establishment of the new operating protocols within fully staffed hours. We will trial 24/7 in a small number of sites over the next few weeks and expect to return to 24/7 more widely within the next few months

Measures taken to ensure our gyms will be Covid-secure  

· In line with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport framework for operating gyms and leisure facilities safely, and after a review by Sheffield Hallam University's Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, we have put in place our #safewithus operating protocol. This will ensure our gyms are operating in a Covid-secure way for the safety of members and staff, focused on six core principles:

 

1. SHIELD - Avoiding 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 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 1 member per 100 sq ft, in line with Government guidelines, using our 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 our 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

A short video showing the #safewithus plan can be viewed here:

https://www.thegymgroup.com/coronavirus-information

Membership

· Gyms were closed on 20 March 2020 and members were offered a 'free freeze' with no payments taken whilst the gyms were closed

· In the first few days after closing there were a significant number of cancellations, but this rate subsequently slowed considerably. As at 9 July 2020 we had 692,000 members (vs 870,000 on 18 March 2020) with an average age of 32

· On the re-opening date of each gym, members' monthly direct debits will automatically re-start; prior to the opening date all members will be offered the opportunity to continue the 'free freeze' option

· Based on our internal research 92% of members are keen to return to The Gym

 

Richard Darwin, CEO of The Gym Group, commented:

" Opening safely is our primary concern and we have comprehensive plans in place for both our colleagues and members as we re-open our gyms. We are pleased to have been able to work with Government and the rest of the health and fitness sector on how best to operate in a COVID-secure way. Together with the Government we recognise the significant benefits of exercise in improving the nation's physical and mental well-being, particularly at this time as we respond to the pandemic.

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 ".

Interim Results

The Company's Interim Results for H1 2020 will be announced on 2 September 2020.

 

1  Subject to any temporary local lockdown restrictions with 2 sites in Leicester currently not reopening on 25 July 2020. London Oxford Street gym currently closed for refurbishment

2 Except for 23 sites, which will open 8am-8pm weekdays and 9am-5pm weekends

 

For further information, please contact:

The Gym Group:

Richard Darwin, CEO

Mark George, CFO

 

via Instinctif

Instinctif Partners:

Matthew Smallwood, Justine Warren

 

0207 457 2005/10

Numis:

Luke Bordewich, George Price

 

0207 260 1366

Peel Hunt:

Dan Webster, George Sellar

 

0207 418 8900

 


This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact rns@lseg.com or visit www.rns.com.
 
END
 
 
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