Soho Gyms in a sweat as rivals get leaner – Evening Standard

Fitness chain Soho Gyms has revealed budget rivals muscling in on its turf have hurt sales and profits as London’s gym bunnies cut spending. 

The privately owned chain’s parent said in freshly filed accounts: “The fitness training options in London are becoming increasingly popular. Budget operators are being aggressive with offers such as no joining fees plus the introduction of group exercise.”

Rival The Gym Group charges an average £17 a month membership, whereas Soho Gyms — which Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct considered buying in 2015 — charges from £64.99 a month at its Holborn site. 

The business, which has 10 London branches, added that “political uncertainty is not helping the consumer or staff recruitment”, and also flagged up higher rents, wages and business rates. 

Turnover in the year to January fell to £7.9 million from £8.2 million, and pre-tax profit decreased to £449,633 from £589,760 after expansion.

It expects improved figures for the second half of this year. 

The firm was founded in Covent Garden in 1994 by Jeremy Norman.