SINGAPORE: True Fitness and True Yoga in Singapore will not be affected by the abrupt closure of all outlets in Thailand and Malaysia in the past week, said a True Group spokesperson on Monday (Jun 12).
In fact, the spokesperson said the fitness chain is sticking to its expansion plans in Singapore, China and Taiwan.
The Singapore company explained that True Fitness in Malaysia and Thailand were "separate and distinct legal entities" that are not connected to True Group's Singapore structure. The fitness chain in Malaysia and Thailand had said last week that their businesses are "no longer financially viable due to evolving market conditions."
20 NEW CLUBS IN CHINA BY 2019
In response to Channel NewsAsia's queries, True Group said that it will continue to grow the brand in Singapore, China and Taiwan, under an agreement it signed in May with Hong Kong-listed Tongfang Kontafarma.
They intend to grow True Group's presence in China through corporate-owned and franchised clubs, with up to 20 new clubs expected to be opened by end-2019.
"In the Singapore and Taiwan markets, the True Group will continue to expand its footprint with an expected opening of one to four clubs per year in each market," said the spokesperson.
True Group said it currently owns and operates 26 fitness and yoga centres in Singapore, China and Taiwan and has an annual turnover of more than US$100 million (S$138.39 million).
In a notice to members on Monday, True Group also assured them that its True Yoga and True Fitness outlets in Singapore were not affected by the closures, noting that it had just opened its eighth fitness centre at Viva Business Park last week.
AFFECTED MEMBERS IN MALAYSIA CAN ACCESS PARTNER CLUBS
The True Group spokesperson told Channel NewsAsia that it has purchased membership passes and personal training sessions from another fitness operator, Chi Fitness, where affected customers in Malaysia can continue their fitness regime.
"We are confident that they will be able to cater to our fitness members’ needs," the spokesperson said.
"For Thailand, we are still open to looking for a suitable fitness and wellness operator who is willing to take over the businesses and we hope that this will happen soon. Based on what we know, Virgin Active has offered access to their fitness centres for our affected members till end June 2017," the spokesperson added.
True Group also elaborated on the "evolving market conditions" it had earlier cited as reasons for shutting outlets in Malaysia and Thailand.
"In Thailand, the past years have proved challenging ... It has been a challenging market ever since the social upheaval with the flooding and military interventions. The local consumer market is still struggling.
"For Malaysia, the economy has been deteriorating since the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) two years ago. As such, consumer confidence has been affected by the economic uncertainty. The high consumer debts, where many people have started to prioritise living expenses over fitness options, have also contributed as one of the reasons for the closure."
According to the spokesperson, the group had attempted several times to rejuvenate the businesses but "have not been able to get sufficient flexibility from our landlords and creditors," adding that "the business decision by our creditors to shut us down left us with no option but to close down our operations".
True Group was established in Singapore in 2004, and later expanded to Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan and China. According to its website, it has more than 200,000 members across the region.