Gymshark is a fitness apparel and accessories brand based in Birmingham, UK. It was born in 2012 and, like many other great companies, it was born in a garage.
Today they have millions of followers on social media, more than 900 employees in offices in 5 regions, 14 online stores and customers in 230 countries. Their headquarters are still very close to Birmingham, more specifically in Solihull, known for its motto “urbs in rure”.
As we have already mentioned, it was born in Birmingham, UK, in 2012. In the beginning, as they tell it on their website, they only had a sewing machine and a screen printer. Today, they are in charge of producing sports apparel and accessories, creating inspirational content dedicated to their customers and to the contribution of creating a community that fits their values.
It was founded by Ben Francis and Lewis Morgan in their early 20s while they were both in college and Francis was delivering pizzas for Pizza Hut. They started by selling bodybuilding food supplements via dropshipping on their website and it was in 2013 when they started designing their own apparel. During their first year, Gymshark managed to make £500 per day.
After achieving a sold out of their entire stock by attending BodyPower Fitness Birmingham on the first day alone, their Gymshark’s Luxe Tracksuit went viral on Facebook, making £30,000 in sales within 30 minutes.
When the company’s revenue reached £250,000, Francis and Morgan left university to pursue Gymshark full time.
In 2016, Morgan partially stepped away from the company, as he still held a 20% stake in the company, in order to focus on his own projects, including the fashion brand Maniere De Voir.
From here the company continued to expand, now led by Ben Francis, who became the CEO and owner of the company. By 2018 they had reached £100 million in sales and in 2019 they were opening their first office in Hong Kong. As well as opening the Gymshark Lifting Club, a gym and innovation hub in Birmingham, which they say is “this is not just a gym, this is an athlete’s playground”.
It is characterized by high-level facilities to train and more specifically on strength training, as well as a highly qualified team of trainers who focus on different disciplines. However, they are not only aimed at professional athletes, but also at people who go to the gym for fun or to take care of their health.
In addition to their headquarters in Sollihul, they also have offices in London, Mauritius, Hong Kong and Denver (USA). Their first (and only) physical store, Gymshark London, opened in late 2022.
The truth is that this eCommerce has a very simple interface on its website. It sells both men’s and women’s clothing and sports accessories. They also offer discounts for students and veterans.
To purchase a product you just have to enter their website, select the language of your preference and the place from which you are buying. From there you can choose from thousands of products: leggings, shorts, sweatshirts, caps, underwear, equipment and even bottles, either for drinking water or for your protein shakes. It has different collections, among which is the Withney Simmons collection aimed at the female audience as she is a famous bodybuilding influencer.
Once you have filled the cart, you will only have to apply the discount code (if you have one), enter your data, the shipping information and… checkout. It allows shipping to more than 40 countries. Standard shipping to the United States usually costs $5, unless your purchase is over $75, which is free. How long does it take Gymshark to ship? It depends on the country, but in the case of the United States it usually takes between 4 and 7 business days for standard shipments.
You can create an account on their website, valid also for their different applications. This account will give you access to various benefits such as tracking your order, receiving notifications of exclusive drops before the rest, saving your favorite products to keep track of them and free access to the Gymshark training app.
It was one of the first brands to use influencer marketing, such as Nikki Blakketter or Lex Griffin, both fitness-related youtubers and considered the first “Gymshark athletes”. By 2020, 125 influencers were engaged to sell the brand on social media.
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Currently, it continues to bet on this business more than ever in different social networks (youtube, instagram, tiktok) giving advantages to both content creators and their followers. How they do it? Well, they provide discount codes to influencers, so they can indicate the codes in their social network profiles or in content generated for these media. In addition, the official Gymshark account usually republishes on their social profiles the photos or videos shared by “their athletes”.
How to become a gymshark athlete
One of the techniques most commonly used by brands to win customers is to provide their ambassadors, or “their athletes” with new or upcoming products to promote on their social networks. In this way they reach a wider audience.
To be part of this group that many fitness content creators want to be a part of, that’s all you have to do: create content. The company’s partner team continually scouts for talent based on their social media posts and making sure they match their brand values, without focusing too much on numbers.
While the Gymshark athlete program was not in the plans from the company’s inception, Ben Francis and his team have known how to take advantage of this trend over the years.
Gymshark highlights the importance of adapting to the times, and investing in omnichannel to reach all your potential customers and consumers, especially when it comes to eCommerce.
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