The owners of a gym have penned a long and heartfelt open letter to their members revealing the devastation caused by coronavirus to the business.
The Warehouse Gym on Virginia Street in Southport said despite reopening, they have continued to suffer "truly devastating losses” after all gyms were forced to close in March.
As well as being a fitness and weight-lifting gym, the business also offers martial arts training to its members.
The open letter states they are running at a loss each month and have “lost in total over 450 members” after working hard over the past six years to make the place a success.
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It goes on to say they have had to make “heartbreaking” decisions just to keep the gym from closing its doors indefinitely while receiving “very little support from the Government”.
They said the position they have been left in means they are forced to put up the cost of membership just so the business can survive, and thanked their “loyal members” who continued to make payments even when the gym was closed over the lockdown period.
They said: “You are the reason we were able to re-open our doors again and we are extremely grateful for all of the help, kindness, compassion and support we have received during this really upsetting and stressful time.”
The lockdown period has caused the leisure sector in the UK to take a big hit.
One of the UK’s largest gym chains, The Gym Group, reported a loss of a fifth of its members and revenue for the first six months of the year was down almost 50% on the same period last year.
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Although early signs are good that business at gyms is picking up since they reopened on July 25, many have had to reopen with reduced capacity and classes, which has left many smaller independent gyms struggling to stay open.
The Warehouse Gym letter to its members described the impact of the last few months, saying: “This huge set back has proved extremely difficult to recover from and so like many other independent businesses we are now really struggling to get back on our feet.”
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They added: “We thank you for your continued loyalty, custom and support and hope that you'll continue to train here with us at The Warehouse Gym and link arms as we try our very best to navigate and weather the storm together.
“Many thanks, Mark, Rayner & the Team.”
You can read the full post to its members on the gym’s Facebook page here.