F45 Springfield, in Queensland’s Ipswich, is the latest franchise in the chain to collapse

Another F45 franchise has hit the wall, with its owner calling in liquidators on Tuesday.

The F45 Springfield, in Ipswich, Queensland is directed and owned by Aaron Hawkins, who who made the decision to put his business, Forging Fitness Pty Ltd, which traded as F45 Springfield, into liquidation.

This was due to a lack of profitability, liquidator Cliff Sanderson from Dissolve told news.com.au.

He said Mr Hawkins was locked into a long-term lease in the Orion Springfield Central shopping centre, and the centre’s owner, Mirvac, “wouldn’t reduce the rent to accommodate him”.

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Mr Sanderson said he was still assessing the financial position of the business, but that while it didn’t appear to owe any money to staff it owed back taxes in excess of $20,000 to the Australian Taxation Office.

The demise of the Springfield location brings the total number of F45 gyms in Australia that have shut in the past 15 months to at least 20.

In addition, there are currently 119 Australian F45 franchises listed for sale on anybusiness.com.

Franchisees cite factors such as increased competition from rival gyms, small territories which put them in competition with other F45 franchises, high rents and the percentage of revenue taken by the parent company as the reasons behind their failure.

Viewed as revolutionary when it launched in Sydney in 2012 with its functional, 45 minute, high impact interval training sessions, the fortunes of F45 took a turn after a rapid global expansion fuelled by franchising.

After an investment by Hollywood star Mark Wahlberg in 2019 it listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2021 with a share price of US$17 (A$25), but was delisted in September 2023, by which time its share price had fallen below US$1 (A$1.49).

F45 was kicked off the exchange after its share price traded below US$1 for more than 30 consecutive days and due to its failure to file financial accounts.

Its executive suite has also had a revolving door in recent years with two chief financial officers leaving the business in the space of less than a year and CEO Adam Gilchrist (not the cricketer) departing the business in July 2022.

Mr Hawkins didn’t respond to news.com.au’s request for comment.

michelle.bowes@news.com.au

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