Another unhappy franchisee reported by Susan Barr in California’s Kern Valley Sun:
"Curves abruptly closes its doors Susan Barr – Kern Valley Sun
The parking lot of Curves in Lake Isabella would normally be busy on a weekday morning with ladies bustling in and out to get a workout. But on Wednesday last week, that scene was replaced by one of members arriving only to find the doors locked and a sign posted telling them that the business was closed for good. There was no warning that the gym, owned by Cathy Sokoloff, was going to close its’ doors so abruptly."
As usual, Curves Corporate office had no clue, and put it all on the franchise owner:
"As of last Thursday, the Curves Corporate office located in Waco Texas, said that it was unaware of the business’s closure. Supporting that statement was the fact that company website was still referring interested women to join Curves at the Lake Isabella location. When asked about the situation, Becky Frusher, with the company’s Communications Department, said she was surprised to hear about the closing. When asked about members and what recourse they have with regards to getting reimbursement of any money owed to them, she reiterated ‘Each franchise is independently operated and owned. This is an unfortunate situation, but it isn’t the responsibility of Curves. Members will need to take it up with the owner.’"
Curves franchise owner Cathy Sokoloff overwhelmed by the stress level:
"Sokoloff did contact the Sun to offer an explanation to the community and especially those who were members of her gym. After owning the business for four and one-half years, she was faced with an ever shrinking number of active members and continually rising operating costs. ‘To make a go of it realistically, I needed at least 200 regularly attending members. When I made the decision to close the doors, I had only 60 to 70,’ she said. In hindsight, she wished that she had not closed the business in the manner she did, but cites her stress level as ‘overwhelming’ and that it caused her to make a snap decision. Sokolff says that she is committed to repaying any monies that are owed to members and stated this in a postcard that was sent out to the ladies last week. On a final note, she added that she was very grateful to all of the women who had attended her gym over the years. ‘They were a wonderful group of ladies and they taught me a great deal. I wish that it hadn’t to come to this.’"
Please join UnhappyFranchisee.com in offering some words of encouragement to Curves ex-Franchisee Cathy Sokoloff. All she’ll get from Curves Corporate will be a bill for the $10,000 Failure Fee.