DW Sports set to go into administration closing 50 shops and putting 1,700 jobs at risk

SPORTS retailer and gym group DW Sports is set to fall into administration, putting 1,700 workers at risk of losing their jobs.

DW Sports said sister brand Fitness First and its 43 clubs will be unaffected by the move and continues to operate as a separate company.

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DW Sports currently operates 73 gyms and 50 UK shops after it closed 25 stores in the past few weeks, but the remaining shops will now also shut.

The company is expecting to appoint administrators today after its income was wiped out by the closure of stores and gyms during coronavirus lockdown.

The retail industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, with all non-essential stores closed from March 23 until June 15.

Meanwhile, gyms were only allowed to reopen on July 25 following government orders to shut on March 20.

Job losses since June 2020

MANY firms have announced job cuts since June as a result of the coronavirus lockdown. These include:

  • Shoe chain Aldo collapsed into administration with five stores permanently closed
  • Victoria's Secret plunged into administration, putting 800 jobs at risk
  • Fashion chain Quiz put its shop business into administration in , putting 82 stores at risk
  • British Gas owners cuts 5,000 jobs, over half of which will be in management
  • Airbus announces 1,700 job losses. It expects cuts to be made by summer 2021
  • TM Lewin says it will close all 66 of its UK shops, putting 600 jobs at risk
  • Harveys Furniture goes into administration resulting in 240 immdiate job losses and puts another 1,000 at risk
  • Upper Crust plans to make 5,000 out of its 9,000-strong workforce redundant
  • EasyJet says it plans to close hubs at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle, putting 4,500 jobs at risk
  • John Lewis is reported to be planning to cut jobs and permanently close department stores
  • Harrods has said it is consulting on cutting 680 jobs
  • Virgin Money, which owns Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, will cut 300 jobs
  • Topshop owner Arcadia has announced plans to cut 500 office staff
  • Royal Mail is expected to cut 2,000 jobs as a result of coronavirus


DW Sports said it will now wind down its retail business for good, with its website ceasing trading with immediate effect and closing-down sales starting at its 50 remaining stores.

Visitors to DW Sports' website are currently told the site is "temporarily offline for maintenance".

The Sun has asked the firm when the stores will close and what will happen to outstanding orders, so we'll update this article once we hear back.

The group said it intends to support employees, customers and gym members as far as possible while they look to secure a buyer or buyers for some or all of the DW Sports portfolio.

It added that it'll aim to save as many gyms as possible, but said it's "inevitable" that some will close.

Currently, 59 of its gyms have reopened in England and Northern Ireland, with a further 14 sites in England, Scotland and Wales unable to open due to government restrictions.

Chief executive Martin Long said: "As a consequence of Covid-19, we found ourselves in a position where we were mandated by government to close down both our retail store portfolio and our gym chain in its entirety for a protracted period, leaving us with a high fixed-cost base and zero income.

"The decision to appoint administrators has not been taken lightly but will give us the best chance to protect viable parts of the business, return them to profitability, and secure as many jobs as possible.

"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."

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