Tue, Mar 17, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Gym operators offer Alexander members option

By Jerry Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER ,WITH CNA

Two gym operators — World Gym and Orient Retreat Spa (登琪爾 Spa) — yesterday agreed to honor memberships of the failed Alexander Group (亞力山大集團) by offering discounts to compensate for their losses, said the group’s former chairwoman, Candy Tang (唐雅君).

Members of Alexander Health Club, Aegius Club (亞爵會館) and Jun Spa (君 Spa), whose memberships were still valid after Dec. 11, 2007, and have not applied for refunds or transferred to other gyms, are eligible to transfer their memberships to World Gym and Orient Retreat until June 15.

John Caraccio, country manager of World Gym in Taiwan, said Alexander’s members would receive a three-year membership and pay monthly dues of NT$888 in central and southern Taiwan and NT$1,088 per month in Taipei and Hsinchu.

There would be no membership and processing fees (except at the Hsinchu outlet) for Alexander’s members, who would also receive NT$10,000 in gift vouchers, Caraccio said, adding that Alexander’s members would save between NT$30,000 and NT$40,000 over the three years.

World Gym is the fourth-largest gym chain in the world and the largest in the nation with nine gyms and one yoga center. The company has nearly 36,000 members, with revenue of more than NT$400 million (US$11.7 million) per year, Caraccio said.

“The main objective is to win back the trust of consumers,” Caraccio said, adding that they wouldn’t be taking a risk because they were only paying monthly fees.

Alexander Group shut down all 20 of its Alexander Health Club outlets on Dec. 10, 2007 without giving its 80,000 members prior notice.

Last year, three gym operators, including Action LIFE (亞健康), sought to attract Alexander’s members by offering discount programs that ended in August. But more than 40,000 of Alexander’s members still have not transferred their memberships to another gym, Tang told a media briefing in Taipei yesterday.

She also said that she was in talks with two to three other gym operators and was hoping to announce more compensation plans for former Alexander members next week.

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