A popular gym is closing its doors for the final time this weekend – after giving members just over one week’s notice.
However, some members have been kept in the dark over the fate of LA Fitness in Northwood, only finding out the shock news after speaking to other users.
It also raises the prospect of some members not knowing of the club’s closure until they turn up to use it.
The gym and health club in Chestnut Avenue, which houses facilities such as squash courts and a swimming pool, will shut on Saturday (February 28). It said it had no choice but to leave after the landlords served notice.
Inspire Hair Salon, which has run inside the gym for 10 years, will also close, but the Hungry Caterpillar nursery will continue to operate as normal.
A new independent gym called The Northwood Club, run and operated by new tenants Darwin Wellness, is due to open in its place in early April.
Gym staff say the news came as a shock to them as well, but said users who have paid in advance for their membership will receive refunds.
An email was sent to members informing them of the gym's closure on Thursday (February 19), but was not received by all members.
Member Les Conway, who is also Chairman of Pinner and Northwood Business Club, said: “When I went there on Saturday (February 21) there were lots of members who were unaware of what was going on, they were anxious.
“From a PR perspective, this is phenomenally bad – this is a really popular club but they’ve not told people.”
New gym to open
In its letter to members, LA Fitness says: “I am deeply sorry to have to write with news that we have to close our LA fitness club in Northwood at the end of this month.
“We do this with a heavy heart but the landlord has served notice on us and has asked us to vacate with immediate effect.
“We have been trying hard to negotiate our lease and remain within the building. We had agreed terms at the end of 2014 and out of the blue at the beginning of this month, the landlord changed their mind.
“It is thus with regret that I have to confirm the club will close effective from Saturday February 28 2015 at 4pm.”
LA Fitness said it will help staff transfer to other gyms or assist them finding other employment.
Tracey Nevard, who has run Inspire Hair Salon from the gym for 10 years, said she too will be closing up shop on Saturday. She claimed she was given only seven day’s notice and said: “I’m gutted. This is my livelihood. We are beside ourselves, seven days to relocate a whole business isn’t viable.
“There's a beautician who has been here eight years and she has to relocate her whole business as well.”
Ash Chikhlia, one of the two owners of Darwin Wellness, said: “I’m taking over the new lease, I don’t know anything that happened between the current franchisees and the landlord. I am totally independent.”
The Northwood Club is expected to open in early April.