Fitness chains Goji, Physical sued over millions in unpaid rent amid prolonged gym closures

Goji Studio’s Mong Kok branch is among the fitness outlets sued for falling behind on rent payments. Photo: Goji Studios
Goji Studio’s Mong Kok branch is among the fitness outlets sued for falling behind on rent payments. Photo: Goji Studios

Hong Kong fitness chains Goji Studios and Physical have been sued over millions in unpaid rent, a result of gyms being forced to close for almost half a year and counting since the epidemic began.

Four Physical outlets, in Tai Koo, Cheung Sha Wan, Tuen Mun and Sheung Shui, are facing lawsuits for falling behind on rent, HK01 reported Tuesday, citing court records.

Among them, the Cheung Sha Wan branch was sued twice last May and August, owing close to HK$2 million (US$258,000) in unpaid rent.

Goji outlets have been sued over 20 times over the past year for failure to pay rent and issued lease termination orders. Around half of the legal records relate to the Mong Kok branch at Grand Plaza, according to HK01.

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Hong Kong’s fitness sector is among the industries that have borne the brunt of the government’s COVID-19 restrictions. Forced to shut for nearly 150 days since the pandemic started, gyms closed for the third time last December amid a surge in cases and have yet to reopen.

The government issued one round of relief funding for gym owners in the summer, with gyms receiving HK$100,000 (US$12,900). Applications for a second round of HK$50,000 (US$6,450) in aid opened last September, but additional paperwork, owners complained, are delaying the much needed lifeline.

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