Fitness centre brand Fitness First has begun its liquidation process after exhausting every way to maintain its business operations. Fitness First officially announced its closure on 16 March. In a statement, the company said, "We regret to announce that Evolution Wellness Hong Kong , which operates the Fitness First network of fitness centres in Hong Kong, will cease all operations with effect from 16 March, and begin a liquidation process. The prolonged challenges in not being able to operate our fitness centres have us down this path."
The company added that over the past months, its management team, alongside its parent company and shareholders, had explored and exhausted all avenues in the pursuit of maintaining business operations. "Regrettably, we have not been successful," it said. The website of the company contains only the announcement of its liquidation and its farewell letter. The company has appointed two liquidators for overseeing the affairs of the company pending the convening of a meeting of creditors scheduled for 28 March 2022.
"We are heartbroken that our journey together has come to this devastating end, and sincerely apologise for the impact and inconvenience this news may have on all our stakeholders," the company added.
Some netizens went to Fitness First's Facebook page to say goodbye. One of them said, "Thank you Fitness First. I was a member for 10 years and appreciated your service and products in keeping me far fitter and healthier than I would have been without you."
Fitness First is the second gym chain in the city that needs to wind up its business in less than a year after Goji Studios. In an internal letter sent to all employees on Monday, Fitness First said it would close permanently and all employment contracts had been terminated, reported multiple media in Hong Kong.
In December, Goji Studios also shut down its business stating that the pandemic in Hong Kong and social distancing measures were the main reasons for the closure. Goji Studios were not able to raise fund to continue operating too.
The fitness industry established a not-for-profit body amidst outbreaks in Hong Kong gyms last year to reassure the public that fitness and wellness facilities are safe to use. Initiated by members of the Hong Kong Alliance of Professional Fitness and Wellness Operators in conjunction with International Personal Trainers and Fitness Academy and the Hong Kong Alliance for Fitness and Wellness, SafeFit100 is an independent not-for-profit body governed by an independent steering committee. It has been established to protect and serve the industry and the wider community amid the COVID-19 pandemic through the highest standards of professional, independent scrutiny and assessment to ensure safety.
However, gyms in Hong Kong are not allowed to operate due to the government measures announced in January 2022 after the beginning of the fifth wave of the pandemic, closing bars and gyms.
Other companies in Hong Kong also decided to wind up their business in the city. In an announcement on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, Genting Hong Kong said it had filed a petition in the Bermuda Court for the appointment of joint provisional liquidators (JPL) of the company. The JPL application had triggered further insolvency events of default or termination events under all of the outstanding debt instruments of Dream Cruises and its subsidiaries. It also dismissed at least 60 employees in Singapore, with many of them being Singaporeans and permanent residents
(Photo courtesy: 123rf)
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