Staying physically fit throughout the COVID pandemic has been a challenge. But it's only gotten harder as gyms have been forced to shut down for a substantial period of time this year—and some are now having to close their doors for good. The latest victim? This week, beloved California chain In-Shape announced it just filed for bankruptcy. Read on for more on the future of this regional chain, and for a similar company that's shutting down, check out This Popular Gym Is Closing All of Its Locations.
In-Shape has been a fixture of California's fitness scene for almost 40 years, but due to COVID, the company announced on its website that it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Dec. 16. "As you know, California's mandated shutdown of gyms has kept us closed for the better part of 2020," the statement read, noting that the statewide shutdowns have "dramatically impaired [In-Shape's] revenue." So, the company decided to "take steps to restructure so we can focus our resources to ensure our long-term viability."
Like many states, California has been battling a rising number of COVID-19 cases, and in mid-November Gov. Gavin Newsom said he was pulling the "emergency brake" and reinstating strict safety measures. As a result, most of the state's 58 counties were placed under the strictest level of restrictions, which included closing gyms, along with the indoor operations of bowling alleys, movie theaters, museums, and zoos.
The good news is, In-Shape isn't going away for good—at least not yet. The company expects to come out on the other side of this period "with a smaller, more focused portfolio of about 45 clubs across California," although it didn't specify which locations were likely to survive the restructuring. The statement stressed the chain wouldn't be disappearing entirely: "In-Shape has been helping Californians to stay healthy, fit and happy for nearly 40 years, and we're not going anywhere."
Read on for the latest on other well-established brands that have seen their fortunes plunge during the ongoing pandemic, and for another company in trouble, read up on why This Iconic Chain Is Closing Over 1,000 Stores by March.
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The largest movie theater chain in the U.S. is currently scrambling to raise $750 million in funding to secure its future after a year of shuttered cinemas and studios releasing their new films straight to streaming and On Demand services. Bloomberg reported that footfall at AMC locations overall was down 92 percent in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period in 2019.
Additionally, AMC's stocks took a huge hit this week when news broke that a set of senior creditors were pushing for the chain to file for Chapter 11, according to The Motley Fool. And for another tough pill to swallow, check out This Legendary Store Just Announced It's Filing for Bankruptcy.
In the first week of December, once-ubiquitous tween and young adult store Francesca's first announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and soon, the company revealed that 97 stores would be closing. This followed the November announcement that 140 locations would shutter, totaling more than a third of the chain's 700 locations. And for another stylish company making big changes, check out This Iconic Clothing Chain Is Closing Its Biggest Stores.
November saw the British parent company behind trendy fashion company Topshop move into administration (the U.K.'s equivalent of Chapter 11). "The forced closure of our stores for sustained periods as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a material impact on trading across our businesses," a spokesperson said in a statement to Sky News on Nov. 27. And for more retail news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
GameStop already closed nearly 800 stores over the previous two years, but in early December, the largest video game retailer in the world announced that it will close more than 1,000 stores by the end of its fiscal year in March. However, CEO George Sherman is still optimistic, according to Games Industry. "We anticipate, for the first time in many quarters, that the fourth quarter will include positive year-on-year sales growth and profitability, reflecting the introduction of new gaming consoles, our elevated omni-channel capabilities and continued benefits from our cost and efficiency initiatives, even with the potential further negative impacts on our operations due to the global COVID-19 pandemic," he said during a Dec. 8 call with investors. And for more video game news, know that If You Bought This Year's Most Popular Gift, You Need to Get a Refund.