The ‘perfect storm’ as local fitness chain Movati abruptly closes London gyms

A London-based fitness chain is suddenly closing its two London locations, leaving more than 100 people without jobs and thousands without a gym membership.

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A London-based fitness chain is suddenly closing its two London locations, leaving more than 100 people without jobs and thousands without a gym membership.

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Movati Athletic has closed its clubs in north and south London on Wonderland Road from Wednesday at 6pm, the company announced on Tuesday morning.

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The news surprised members and staff – with a staff member telling The London Free Press that workers at The London Free Press were told on Tuesday at 10am about Wednesday’s closure.

The rest of Movati’s clubs across Canada are not affected, the company said in a press release and through announcements on its website.

Movati Atheltic on Wonderland Road South in London, Ontario.  Tuesday 30 August 2022. Both locations in London are closed.  (Derek Rutan/The London Free Press)
Movati Atheltic on Wonderland Road South in London, Ontario. Tuesday 30 August 2022. Both locations in London are closed. (Derek Rutan/The London Free Press)

Movati Athletic said in a press release that “unique circumstances isolated from London” are forcing the lockdown in the city.

The press release said the closures due to the pandemic have put pressure on the finances and operations of London clubs.

“With the financial and operational ramifications of these shutdowns affecting Movati, the economics of the London property market are no longer sustainable. These two unique factors have made the clubs’ continued operations unsustainable,” The statement said.

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The company said in the statement that members who paid in advance will be compensated for the balances due, and automatic bank withdrawals will be discontinued for those who pay every two weeks.

“It’s a sad day for the passing of me, our team members, and our members,” CEO Chuck Kelly said in the press release.

“We have been part of the London community for 25 years. But we were subjected to a perfect storm of circumstances that forced us to make this difficult decision.”

A head office spokesperson said Kelly was not available for further comment on Tuesday.

The company said in a press release that the sudden closure will affect more than 100 employees and thousands of members.

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The company said Movati was “fulfilling her legal obligations to employees affected by the shutdown.”

The gym was founded by Alan Quesnel and David Wu, and its first location was in North London.

In 2014, the series changed its name to Movati Athletic.

Laura Dennis, whose name is Cherry Bomb, keeps herself fit at The Athletic Club in this 2010 file photo. (Free press files)
Laura Dennis, whose name is Cherry Bomb, keeps herself fit at The Athletic Club in this 2010 file photo. (Free press files)

In a 2014 interview, Kelly told The London Free Press that the series succeeded by focusing on women, families and people who traditionally didn’t feel comfortable in gyms.

“We wanted to create a place where they could feel welcome,” he said. “Some people want to run the triathlon. Some people just want to play with their grandchildren.”

Movati locations that will be closing soon are located at 755 Wonderland Rd. Just north of Oxford Street, and in a large plaza at 3198 Wonderland Road. s.

The company says it has 18 clubs across Canada, with more than 100,000 members and nearly 2,000 employees.

rrichmond@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/RandyRatLFPress

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