Sportswear firm expands again to meet growing demand

Ben Truslove (right) with Dan Parkin and Dan Abraham, both Gymshark.

Worcestershire clothing and sportswear business Gymshark has undergone further expansion to help it meet growing demand for its products.

The Redditch-based firm last year took out a letting on a 7,814 sq ft unit at Brooklands, fronting Moons Moat Drive, in what was thought to be the biggest letting in the town for five years.

The building serves as the firm’s headquarters, accommodating its design, e-commerce, administration and customer service functions.

The firm, launched by former Aston University students Ben Francis and Lewis Morgan, has now added a second Brooklands unit. It has agreed a five-year lease on the 4,832 sq ft Unit 5, a former NHS call centre.

However, even this may not be sufficient to keep pace with the current rate of expansion.

Housing the company’s creative arm, Unit 5 accommodates the firm’s photography, brand, social media and product teams, the property is already 80% occupied.

Paul Richardson, Chief Strategic Officer, said: “We are taking on three people a day at present and we are already looking for more space in the locality.”

He said the growth was due to massive growth in the US and Europe – particularly Germany and France.

The company now employs more than 100 people and sells its products into 180 countries. It currently boasts a £13m turnover but predicts it will hit £40m-plus in the current year.

Gymshark serves the 18-25 market. It sells a range of exercise apparel for men and women plus other clothing such as workout t-shirts, running jackets, stringer vests, hoodies and leggings – all emblazoned with the company’s distinctive shark logo.

The firm was founded in 2012 but Mr Morgan has since left the company to pursue other interests, although he remains a minority shareholder in the business. Mr Francis is the firm’s chief brand officer and supporting him are senior managers Steve Hewitt (CEO) and Mr Richardson.

Mr Francis said: “Gymshark is a fitness apparel and accessories brand, manufacturer and online retailer, supported by an ever-growing, highly engaged social media following.

“It has gone from a screen printing operation in a garage, into one of the fastest growing and most recognisable brands in fitness. This growth comes from a devotion to producing innovative, effective performance wear and a commitment to the Gymshark vision.”

The firm outsources its manufacturing operations to low-cost countries such as China.

Ben Truslove, a director of John Truslove, helped conclude the lease deal.

He said: “We have built a healthy professional relationship with the team at Gymshark, since letting them their HQ. As a result, we were able to agree this deal ‘off-market’, which completed simultaneously with a lease surrender of an NHS call centre.”