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Ben Francis, the owner of Gymshark, has excitingly announced the opening of the brand's first ever store in Regent Street, London.
Starting out in his bedroom after Grandma Francis taught him how to use a sewing machine, Francis has grown Gymshark from strength to strength, from screen-printing t shirts for friends and family to hitting a $1.3 billion valuation after securing an investment from General Atlantic.
Francis, who is only 29, made the announcement on Twitter today (2 December) along with an accompanying video explaining his decision and giving a tour of the building he has signed a 10-year lease for.
We are taking Gymshark offline!!— Ben Francis (@BenFrancis1992) December 2, 2021
This is a HUGE moment and an exciting new leap for us. To have started this in my bedroom, to now be sat on one of the most prestigious streets in London is mind-blowing!🤯
Link to the full video here:https://t.co/0oe05Kjvjo pic.twitter.com/fPt63ONgXW
In the video, Francis states that after being sent a beautiful-looking picture of Regent Street, he had to follow his “gut feeling” and open a store on the infamous street, home to brands such as Calvin Klein and Levi’s.
While walking around Regent Street and the building, the CEO said: “I must admit, walking down where we sort of came in the tube on Oxford Circus and then to walk down the street and see... the Gymshark store, it just immediately gave me goosebumps.”
He continued: “I’m so proud of the decision that we’re making for the long term of this community and for the brand.”
The brand, which has previously only sold their range of exercise wear online, has been praised for creating an actual, physical IRL brick-and-mortar store, pushing back against the decline of high-street clothing stores.
Francis said to The Times that he was a fan of physical stores and had wanted a permanent “offline space” for a while.
Here’s to saving time and money returning clothes you ordered online that don’t fit!
The Birmingham entrepreneur however, wants people to know that it wasn’t an straightforward ride for him.
In a video for UNILAD, he previously said: “It’s so easy to look at Gymshark in isolation at this thing that blew up and did incredibly well, but people forget about the seven websites and the four apps that were produced beforehand which failed miserably.
“And the reason Gymshark can exist and has done what it has done today is because of those prior failures.”
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