DW Sports administration puts 1,700 jobs at risk

Wigan-based sports and gym company DW Sports has gone into administration — putting 1,700 jobs at risk.

BDO LLP has been appointed administrator of DW Sports.

The group, founded by former Wigan Athletic owner Dave Whelan, operates 73 gyms and 75 retail stores across the UK. 

“BDO LLP Business Restructuring partners, Graham Newton and Ryan Grant, were appointed Joint Administrators of Dave Whelan Sports Limited on 3 August 2020,” said BDO.

“DW Sports currently operates 73 gym and 50 retail sites in the UK, 25 of the stores having closed prior to administration.

“As a result of the administration, all 1,704 roles across the business are at risk of redundancy, although the administrators will be working towards saving as many jobs as possible through a possible sale of all or part of the business as a going concern.    

“Trading through the DW Sports website has also ceased with immediate effect.

“Closing-down sales have commenced across the remaining retail sites, with discounts being applied across all product lines.   

“Consistent with the relevant government guidelines, 59 gym sites have re-opened in England and Northern Ireland.

“The remaining 14 gym sites in England, Wales and Scotland will re-open where possible in accordance with the latest government guidelines for those locations.    

“In the meantime, the Joint Administrators intend to explore the sale of as much of DW Sports’ business as can be achieved.

“Anyone interested in learning more about this acquisition opportunity should contact the Joint Administrators at: projectzinc@bdo.co.uk.”

Graham Newton, BDO Business Restructuring partner, said: “The well-publicised challenges for the retail and leisure sectors from the impact of Covid-19 have significantly affected DW  Sports’ business.

“However, we are continuing to trade while we explore the sale of as much of DW Sports’ business as possible.”   

Julie Palmer, a partner at Manchester-based restructuring advisory firm Begbies Traynor, said: “This is a worrying sign for other consumer-facing businesses who will have experienced the same challenges and could themselves be susceptible to financial distress.”