Solidcore Just Laid off Most of Their Employees Because of Coronavirus

Founder and CEO Anne Mahlum says she and the remaining 13 employees will be “focused on getting studios open as fast as possible.”

solidcore laid off

Solidcore laid off 98-percent of employees due to the coronavirus crisis. / Photograph by Laura Brzyski

As if the closing of all non-essential businesses in Philadelphia hadn’t already taken a toll on fitness studios, one of the big chains just took a major hit. Solidcore announced yesterday that they have laid off 98 percent of their workforce.

The news comes as a result of COVID-19. Through Monday, March 16th, the company’s 72 studios were open, taking precautionary measures like increased disinfecting and reduced high-fives. Then on Tuesday, they closed all locations — including their four in the Philadelphia area — and suspended all memberships due to coronavirus-related mandates from “many state and local government officials,” according to their website. A mere two days later, only 13 employees and a huge question mark over the fate of Sweatlana remain.

In an emotional IGTV message, founder and CEO Anne Mahlum said that “making this decision is our only chance to be standing at the end of this, so that our people have a job to come back to and you have a spot under the blue lights to return to.” She announced that all laid-off employees would receive their final paycheck in full and will pay for staff healthcare through the end of April. Additionally, employees and “qualifying coaches” will receive an additional stipend; however, it was not made clear what constitutes as a “qualifying coach,” nor the amount of money they will receive. In the video, Mahlum did make transparent that she has foregone 100 percent of her salary.

Solidcore opened its first studio in D.C. six years ago. Before yesterday’s announcement, the company had 137 full-time employees, 97 part-time employees, and 397 coaches. Solidcore will continue posting at-home workouts on their Instagram.

Solidcore is not the only large chain to temporarily shut down all locations in response to coronavirus. Indoor cycling chain Flywheel closed all studios nationwide on March 17th and Rumble Boxing closed down their studios on March 16th (Update: On Friday afternoon, Flywheel announced that they, too, were letting go of 98 percent of their team, while retaining a small number of employees to operate the business with “significant reductions in compensation.”) SoulCycle closed all 99 of its studios worldwide, sharing that they are “implementing a plan to support our teams during this time.”

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