Inside Gymshark’s First Store | BoF

Gymshark’s first permanent store is true to the brand’s gym-loving messaging.

Clothing rails carrying the brand’s staple tank tops, hoodies and leggings double up as functioning squat racks, and the ground floor is home to a “sweat room” where people can book in for daily group fitness classes.

Set to open Saturday on London’s Regent Street, the two-story flagship represents a landmark moment for Gymshark and founder Ben Francis, who built the brand from a niche label adopted by pockets of gym lovers in the UK in the early 2010s to a direct-to-consumer business valued at £1 billion ($1.2 billion) following an investment from growth equity firm General Atlantic at the height of the pandemic.

“Our ambition was to have a beautiful store that combined three elements: it’s a retail space, a gym and community hub all in one,” Francis told BoF at the store Wednesday (the second level contains a private shopping suite and space for Q&A sessions, plus podcast and video recordings).

He said he expects the classes and events to increase traffic to the store and expose new customers to Gymshark.

“There’s 100 percent still large groups of consumers who are yet to be introduced to the brand,” he said.

While Gymshark’s first store opened close to home, it’s international sales that have fuelled growth lately. Net revenue totalled £401.9 million ($463.5 million) in the year ending July 31 2021, up from £260.7 million the previous year, according to accounts filed to the UK’s Companies House.

Company leaders were coy on whether further permanent retail spaces are planned, but said that large-scale expansion remains a priority.

“Our ambition is to simply be the biggest British international brand ever,” said Noel Mack, Gymshark’s chief brand officer. “Whether that expansion looks like flagships on 5th Avenue and the Champs Elysées, or small click-and-collect spots around the world, we will see.”

Gymshark will soon have some competition: On, the Swiss running company that has had a similarly meteoric rise, is building its own Regent Street flagship next door.

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