True Fitness insists Singapore operations unaffected

true-fitness-singaporePETALING JAYA: The True Group fitness and wellness chain has assured consumers in Singapore that its operations in the island republic are unaffected despite jitters among members on the fate of its True Fitness and True Yoga outlets there.

This comes on the heels of the abrupt closures of True Fitness operations in Thailand on June 9 and in Malaysia a day later.

In a report yesterday, Channel News Asia quoted a company spokesperson as saying that the outlets in Singapore would not be affected by what happened in the neighbouring countries.

The spokesperson added that the chain is sticking to its expansion plans in Singapore, China and Taiwan.

The company explained that True Fitness in Malaysia and Thailand were “separate and distinct legal entities” not connected to True Group’s Singapore structure, the report said.

On June 9, the management of True Fitness, True Spa and True ‘Est in Thailand had announced the immediate closures of the outlets there, saying that the past years had proven challenging, and the businesses were no longer financially viable due to evolving market conditions.

“Despite our best efforts, we were unable to sustain operations in Thailand due to the challenging market conditions,” it said.

On the same day, the management of True Fitness & True Spa in Malaysia announced on its own website the shutting down of operations in the country the next day, giving the same reason and also citing the “challenging” past few years and “evolving market conditions”.

Members in both countries have reportedly responded with anxiety over whether they would be compensated for the fees that had been paid.

On June 5, The Straits Times had quoted True Group chief executive Patrick Wee on plans to expand into China with 20 new clubs over the next three years, and a possible stock exchange listing.

In its report on Sunday, the newspaper said some of the chain’s 47,000 members in Singapore were beginning to wonder if the centres there will be hit next after the incidents in Thailand and Malaysia.

The chain has ten outlets, including eight True Fitness outlets, in Singapore, the report said.

It said the members were worried also because gym chain California Fitness had closed its outlets suddenly last July, leading to some 600 complaints about pre-paid membership fees and under-utilised gym sessions.

The report quoted building industry executive A. Lim, who was formerly a California Fitness member, as saying that she was worried that True Fitness gyms there would close too.

“I may consider reducing the duration of future membership contracts, but I won’t stop having them as I don’t want to stop exercising,” the 42-year old was quoted as saying.

It also quoted recruitment consultant Cynthia Teo, 28, as saying that she did not want another California Fitness situation to happen and reassurance should be given by the True Fitness management.

I’ll probably ask them about it and find out what my membership rights are if it closes down,” she was quoted as saying.