24 August 2020
Mike Ashley buys rival gym and fitness business, DW Sports from long term rival, David Whelan, bringing the company out of administration.
Mr Ashley's Frasers Group will buy certain assets from DW Sports Fitness for £37m however, the firm's brand name will not be used. A number of jobs will be saved though the number confirmed has not yet been announced.
3 August 2020
DW Sports falls into administration, putting 1,700 jobs at risk.
The unprecedented coronavirus and its lockdown impacted the company through its lengthy closure of stores and gyms, wiping out its income. As a result, it has been decided that insolvency specialists will be appointed.
DW Sports is a sports retailer and gym group. The firm, founded by Wigan Athletic owner David Whelan, has 73 gyms and 75 shops around the UK but announced plans to shut 25 of its outlets last month.
Its retail business will now wind down for good, with its website ceasing trading immediately. There will closing-down sales, starting from today, at its 50 remaining stores.
The group shared how the decision was not taken lightly but they felt it offered the best opportunity to safeguard the viable parts of the business, return the group to profitability and secure as many jobs as possible.
CEO, Martin Long said: ‘’ 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, its sister company is said to be unaffected by the administration and will continue with its 43 gyms as a separate firm.
The administrators intend to support employees, customers and gym members as much as possible whilst they seek a buyer (s) for some or all of the DW Sports portfolio.