Brisbane fitness giant closes five stores as debts hit $1m
STAFF are out of work and customers left shocked after a major Brisbane fitness company closed five stores without warning as its debts crept close to $1 million.
Muscle Coach, a well-known supplements brand in the fitness industry, was put into voluntary administration earlier this month.
Specialising in weight-gain, loss and muscle growth supplements, the fitness giant operated six "superstores" split between Brisbane and Melbourne.
Things went downhill in the fierce industry when one of its directors was diagnosed with serious health issues earlier this year, administrator Darryl Kirk said.
"He's been distanced from the business for a period of time and in a highly-competitive industry the focus perhaps wasn't there in the past six months," Mr Kirk said.
Muscle Coach had debts of about $1 million to financial institutions and the Australian Tax Office before it was sold to another fitness company in a confidential transaction.
"In the circumstances that's a pretty good result," Mr Kirk said.
"The brand will keep on as we know."
All of the company's Victorian and Queensland stores - except Coorparoo and the online shop - have been closed, putting about five casual staff out of work.
"We've consolidated the business back to one store and the online trading," Mr Kirk said.
Muscle Coach announced on its Facebook page there would be changes, but did not offer details.
"We are working to relaunch with new operators and we will be updating all customers shortly," a post said. "Thank you for your continued support."
The news prompted several of the company's customers to question the future of the company.
"Really disappointed our local store is closed," one person wrote.
Mr Kirk said a competitive bidding process for the Muscle Coach business proved fitness remained a highly-competitive industry.
"I wouldn't be surprised to see other players in this industry get into distress," he said.
Muscle Coach's Coorparoo and online stores remain open.