Gymshark prepares to open first permanent store this weekend
The big news about UK sports store openings in recent weeks may have focused on Battersea Power Station, but for Gymshark the action is across town on Regent Street. The brand is gearing up for the opening of its first permanent store on Saturday on a massive corner plot that puts it at the heart of London’s tourist shopping area.
The 18,000 sq ft store (which took over from J Crew’s London flagship) will feature the full Gymshark offer, as well as hangout areas, a dedicated sweat room and pro bench, fitness experts and daily free fitness classes, changing rooms with adjustable lights (for selfie or general mood purposes), plus a Joe & The Juice bar.
Bloomberg also reported that the brand is mulling the launch of a basics range to reach out to consumers hurt by the cost-of-living crisis. That’s something many retailers are doing at the moment with basics ranges being launched by multiple big brands in areas as diverse as clothing, furniture and food.
The company founder Ben Francis told Bloomberg the business’s supply chain should be able to respond quickly with entry level pieces.
“The UK consumer has been harder hit than most,” said CEO Francis. “What we’re looking at is, is there more opportunity at the more entry-level price point for us to build more product?”
The firm’s bestsellers at present include women’s leggings for £50, tops for £38 and men’s joggers at £35.
The need for basics is clear as Francis said webstore visits converting to sales have dropped very slightly and shoppers are favouring more durable essentials.
He hasn’t spoken of any plans to open more stores, particularly in the US, but there’s ongoing speculation that this could happen given the importance of that market to sports in general and the company in particular. The 10-year-old company currently derives half of its almost-£500 million revenue from the US.
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