Gymshark Business Model In A Nutshell

  • Gymshark is a British fitness apparel and accessories company founded by Ben Francis and Lewis Morgan in 2012. Revenue surpassed £100 million after just four years in operation.
  • Gymshark sells a diverse range of men’s and women’s fitness apparel and accessories. The company markets these products through influencer marketing and regularly holds events to strengthen its community-centric brand.
  • Gymshark employs the direct-to-consumer model, which means it has to absorb distribution and customer support costs. The company has made an operating profit of between 9 and 20% for the past six years.

Origin story

Gymshark is a British fitness apparel and accessories company founded by Ben Francis and Lewis Morgan in 2012.

Gymshark began with Francis and Morgan drop shipping body-building supplements online.

The following year, Francis began designing and manufacturing a line of fitness apparel in his garage with a meager £1,000 in savings. 

The apparel was an instant success, with Gymshark stock selling out on the first day of a fitness trade show in Birmingham.

The company was also able to make several important contacts with industry icons to help spread awareness of the Gymshark brand.

In 2016, Francis and Morgan left university to focus on the business full time as revenue surpassed £250,000.

Revenue then surpassed £100 million as the company moved into a new headquarters and opened an office in Hong Kong.

Today, Gymshark is worth around $1.45 billion – with products sold to consumers in 180 countries. 

Understanding the Gymshark business model

To at least partly explain the meteoric rise of Gymshark, let’s now take a look at its business model in terms of products, marketing, expenses, and operating profit.

Product range

Gymshark sells a diverse range of men’s and women’s fitness apparel, including crop tops, bottoms, leggings, hoodies, jackets, shorts, underwear, sports bras, tank tops, and t-shirts. The company also sells accessories such as bottles, bags, headwear, socks, and equipment.


The popularity of Gymshark apparel is largely due to the company’s marketing strategy.

Gymshark was one of the first companies to employ influencer marketing, donating its products to weight lifting and gym influencers on YouTube and Facebook.

Importantly, the company also championed lesser-known individuals to insert itself into the burgeoning gym culture.

This culture is reinforced whenever a consumer makes a purchase, with Gymshark sending a message welcoming them to the Gymshark family of like-minded individuals striving toward common goals.

What’s more, the company regularly hosts various events in cities across the world where fans can meet famous athletes and apparel designers.

By making fan interaction a priority, Gymshark has built a strong and loyal following in what is an ultra-competitive market.


Gymshark works on the direct-to-consumer (DTC) model. The company does not operate physical stores, instead preferring to ship items directly to consumers.

Under the DTC model, the biggest expenses are distribution and customer service costs.

Without traditional retailers dealing with customer support and fulfillment, the company must wear these costs instead.

Operating profit

Gymshark has remained profitable as it has scaled, which is rare when compared to its peers.

To some extent this is due to the direct-to-consumer model, which has allowed the company to remain unaffected by COVID-19 store closures.

Between 2014 and 2019, operating profit sat comfortably in the range of 9-20%. Pre-tax profit for the year to July 2020 was also healthy at £30.5 million.

Leadership Style:

Gymshark’s leadership style aligns with its mission to create a strong community-centric brand and deliver a superior customer experience.

  • Customer-Centric: Gymshark’s leaders prioritize understanding and meeting the diverse needs of their customers, fostering a sense of belonging within the fitness community.
  • Innovation-Driven: The company encourages innovation in product design, marketing, and community engagement, staying ahead in a competitive market.
  • Brand Building: Leaders focus on building and maintaining the Gymshark brand, emphasizing authenticity and inclusivity in their marketing efforts.
  • Community Engagement: Gymshark’s leadership values customer feedback and engagement, actively participating in creating a sense of community and shared goals.
  • Team Collaboration: Collaboration among different departments and teams is encouraged to provide customers with a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience.
  • Adaptability: Gymshark’s leaders are adaptable and responsive to market trends and customer preferences, enabling the brand to stay relevant.
  • Profitability: The company’s leaders maintain a focus on profitability while scaling the business, ensuring its long-term sustainability.

Key Highlights

  • Founding and Growth: Gymshark is a British fitness apparel and accessories company founded by Ben Francis and Lewis Morgan in 2012. It began as an online venture drop shipping body-building supplements and later transitioned to designing and manufacturing fitness apparel.
  • Rapid Revenue Growth: Gymshark achieved impressive revenue growth, surpassing £100 million in just four years of operation. This rapid growth was fueled by the success of its fitness apparel line.
  • Product Range: Gymshark offers a diverse range of fitness apparel and accessories for both men and women. Their product lineup includes items like crop tops, leggings, hoodies, jackets, shorts, sports bras, and more. They also sell accessories such as bottles, bags, headwear, socks, and equipment.
  • Influencer Marketing: Gymshark was a pioneer in using influencer marketing as a key strategy. They collaborated with fitness and gym influencers on platforms like YouTube and Facebook, allowing their products to reach a wider audience and become popular among fitness enthusiasts.
  • Community-Centric Branding: Gymshark focused on building a strong sense of community around its brand. They organized events where fans could meet athletes and designers, fostering a sense of belonging among customers who shared common fitness goals.
  • Direct-to-Consumer Model: Gymshark adopted a direct-to-consumer (DTC) model, bypassing traditional retail and selling directly to customers. While this allowed them to establish a closer relationship with their audience, it also meant they had to handle distribution and customer service costs themselves.
  • Profitability and Scaling: Unlike many peers in the industry, Gymshark maintained profitability as it scaled. The DTC model played a role in this, as it insulated the company from the negative impacts of events like COVID-19-related store closures.
  • Strong Operating Profit: Gymshark consistently achieved healthy operating profit margins, ranging from 9% to 20% between 2014 and 2019. In the year leading up to July 2020, their pre-tax profit was reported at £30.5 million.
  • Global Reach: Gymshark’s success was not limited to the UK market. Their products were sold in 180 countries, showcasing their global appeal and reach.
  • Valuation: Over the years, Gymshark’s valuation grew significantly. As of the information available, Gymshark was estimated to be worth around $1.45 billion.

Related Visual Resources

Fast Fashion

Fash fashion has been a phenomenon that became popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s, as players like Zara and H&M took over the fashion industry by leveraging on shorter and shorter design-manufacturing-distribution cycles. Reducing these cycles from months to a few weeks. With just-in-time logistics and flagship stores in iconic places in the largest cities in the world, these brands offered cheap, fashionable clothes and a wide variety of designs.

Ultra Fast Fashion

The Ultra Fashion business model is an evolution of fast fashion with a strong online twist. Indeed, where the fast-fashion retailer invests massively in logistics and warehousing, its costs are still skewed toward operating physical retail stores. While the ultra-fast fashion retailer mainly moves its operations online, thus focusing its cost centers on logistics, warehousing, and a mobile-based digital presence.

Real-Time Retail

Real-time retail involves the instantaneous collection, analysis, and distribution of data to give consumers an integrated and personalized shopping experience. This represents a strong new trend, as a further evolution of fast fashion first (who turned the design into manufacturing in a few weeks), ultra-fast fashion later (which further shortened the cycle of design-manufacturing). Real-time retail turns fashion trends into clothes collections in a few days or a maximum of one week.

SHEIN Business Model

SHEIN is an international B2C fast fashion eCommerce platform founded in 2008 by Chris Xu. The company improved the ultra-fast fashion model by leveraging real-time retail, quickly turning fashion trends in clothes collections through its strong digital presence and successful branding campaigns.

Read Next: Zara Business Model, Inditex, Fast Fashion Business Model, Ultra Fast Fashion Business Model, SHEIN Business Model.

Main Free Guides:

About The Author

Scroll to Top