Franchise brands across many industries have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and REGYMEN Fitness, which is headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is no different. We had to think fast when this virus started to spread in March and figure out how we were going to sustain our brand and maintain trust with our franchisees and loyal customers while our doors remained closed.
Our solutions have since evolved around five major points: increased communication and support for both franchisees and customers, a shift to online content, providing customers with access to exercise equipment and enhanced technology, a focus on being able to pivot and evolving our platforms in order to thrive when we are again open for business.
The first step we took during the COVID-19 outbreak was to make sure communication between corporate headquarters and franchisees remained consistent. To this end, we implemented regular phone calls with franchisees to keep them updated with the latest news related to COVID-19. Since everything surrounding the virus is changing rapidly, it is crucial that we continue to regularly check in with our franchise partners and make sure everyone is on the same page.
Corporate support has also extended to financial matters. The REGYMEN Fitness leadership team is working with franchisees to help them handle rent deferral payments. The corporate team is also reaching out directly to our technology vendors to inquire about deferring ongoing monthly fees while our clubs remain closed.
Since our members cannot physically be in the gyms right now, it was also critical for the brand to pivot quickly and find ways to engage with customers online. To this end, REGYMEN Fitness rolled out a series of virtual workouts and motivational messages that we have been posting regularly on our social media pages. Coaches at all of our locations also make sure to post videos throughout the day to accommodate customers in different time zones. The workouts include full tutorials from coaches and a live movement stream, just like members would see in our gyms. In a true burst of creativity, our fitness coaches have posted workouts that can be completed using common household items, such as bookbags and laundry detergent jugs.
That said, we also realized that not all members might have the necessary exercise equipment to maintain their desired workout routines. For this reason, we reached out to our vendor partners, Perform Better and TRX, to provide members with equipment pieces that might be sold out elsewhere. Thanks to this, we can offer members special equipment bundles for at-home use at a special rate. These bundles include kettlebells, slam balls and dumbbells to complement the videos we post online until our customers can return in person to our gyms.
There are also upcoming changes on the technology front, as we are finishing the final touches on a new app that is set to debut this month. REGYMEN Fitness is constantly enhancing and evolving our technology, and this tactic will serve us well as we continue to work around the issues brought on by coronavirus.
Despite some states reopening some businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic still is far from ending. No one knows what businesses will look like on the other side. That being said, by maintaining constant communication with franchisees and customers and doing everything possible to accommodate everyone’s health and wellness, REGYMEN Fitness is ensuring we’ll stay top-of-mind with both franchisees and customers. We’re really looking forward to the day when we can go back to interacting face to face with everyone in our system. Until then, we will continue to be supportive and come up with creative solutions.