Pure Fitness members raise issue over closure

Some people were still working out at the 15,000 sq ft Pure Fitness gym in Knightsbridge mall in Orchard yesterday, before it was closed to make way for Singapore’s first Apple Store.
Some people were still working out at the 15,000 sq ft Pure Fitness gym in Knightsbridge mall in Orchard yesterday, before it was closed to make way for Singapore’s first Apple Store. ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN

Some say they have yet to hear about compensation since gym closure announced

SINGAPORE - Members of a fitness club which has shut one of its two gyms have told The Straits Times they have yet to hear about compensation - seven weeks after the closure was announced.

Pure Fitness closed its 15,000 sq ft gym in Knightsbridge mall in Orchard yesterday to make way for Singapore's first Apple Store.

Some of its members had paid thousands for all-access passes granting use of the Knightsbridge gym plus another at Asia Square and yoga studios at Chevron House and Ngee Ann City.

Pure Fitness did not disclose how many all-access members they have and would only say that there are 2,400 members with access to only the Knightsbridge outlet.

They now fear the Asia Square gym will become more crowded as a result, and that their membership will therefore be worth less.

LOSING OUT ON THE DEAL

Not only do all-access members have to deal with the influx of people, we are stuck with the fact that we paid more for what appears to be less now.

STUDENT CLIFF WONG, who fears the remaining gym will be crowded by the "exodus" from Knightsbridge.

One member who wanted to be known as Ms Lim, 26, said she forked out around $4,000 late last year for a 24-month pass.

The lawyer texted Pure's customer service representative four times and was told senior staff would contact her to help but she has heard nothing.

She added that other members have been offered complimentary extension of their membership .

CLIENTS COME FIRST

We prioritise our client's welfare, addressing each concern individually, and will continue to maintain this level of professionalism with any imminent concerns.

MS HANNAH YANG, Pure Group marketing manager, on how the group "has maintained total transparency" with all its members since the closure was announced

"All-access members like myself are now paying a hefty sum for the use of three facilities and the mere promise - with no concrete plans - of a replacement gym in the future," she said.

Pure said in October that it is looking for a bigger space in Orchard Road. It plans to open another gym and yoga studio next year.

Lawyer and all-access member Emmanuel Sim, 31, feels an extension of membership to make up for the loss of one gym would be fair.

Student Cliff Wong, 25, was offered the option to downgrade his membership for free, to a longer yoga-only or Asia Square gym-only membership.

But Mr Wong, who goes to the gym almost daily, says this does not address the problem that the remaining gym will be crowded by the "exodus" from Knightsbridge. "Not only do all-access members have to deal with the influx of people, we are stuck with the fact that we paid more for what appears to be less now," he said.

The gym has yet to contact him with alternative options.

Pure Group marketing manager Hannah Yang, however, insisted that the group "has maintained total transparency" with all its members since the closure was announced.

"We prioritise our client's welfare, addressing each concern individually, and will continue to maintain this level of professionalism with any imminent concerns," she said.

She added that the group is committed to growing its business in Singapore and will be "actively exploring" expansion opportunities within the next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 16, 2015, with the headline 'Fitness club members raise issue over closure'. Print Edition | Subscribe