Gymshark began life as a supplements company. In 2013, branching out from supplements, Ben Francis began designing and selling fitness apparel on Gymshark’s website.
He began manufacturing the products from his parent’s garage in Bromsgrove, using a sewing machine and screen printer he bought with £1,000 of savings. He learned how to sew from his mother. Initially, he worked for Gymshark in between his university studies and his job at Pizza Hut. During that time, the company was making an average of £500 in sales per day.
In 2013, he exhibited Gymshark’s products at the BodyPower fitness trade show in Birmingham. After the trade show ended, a tracksuit went viral on Facebook, generating £30,000 in sales within 30 minutes. Francis later left university and quit his job at Pizza Hut to focus on the company full-time.
As a start-up, Francis marketed the brand through partnering with social media influencers, including YouTube bodybuilders Nikki Blackketter and Lex Griffin. Gymshark was one of the first brands to make extensive use of social media influencers.
In 2015, Francis stepped down as CEO of the company to become the chief brand officer. At the time, he said the move would allow the company “to grow even more quickly” and give him time to “work on my weaknesses and become a more rounded businessperson”.
In 2018, Gymshark opened a new £5 million headquarters in Solihull, West Midlands. In 2019, Gymshark opened its own branded gym and innovation hub. Since 2016, Gymshark has been listed on The Sunday Times Fast Track of fast-growing private companies. The company currently sells products in 131 countries.
In August 2020, Gymshark sold a 21% stake to US private equity firm General Atlantic in a deal that valued the company in excess of £1 billion. Francis currently owns more than 70% of the company, which is worth £700 million.
One of the company’s mottos is “stay humble”.
We used our research partner WhoisXMApi.com to have a look at the domain names owned by GymShark LTD and while the portfolio is small at present with 202 domain names, I am sure it will eventually grow over time.
These are my Top 5 Domain Names Owned by GymShark LTD
- RefillableCigarettes.com (Weird one for a Gymwear/ Fitness brand to own)
- Gymsharks.com (The Plural to the Dot Com which is a smart move)
Note Ben has also been smart and acquired his matching dot com BenFrancis.com, The domain name has been under privacy for a while so difficult to tell how long Ben has owned the domain however we can see it was once by Benedict Francis an actor but appears after this domain was acquired by SK Creations Inc in 2015, then went into whois privacy later that year, the domain name didn’t resolve for nearly 5 years until last year when Ben appears to have launched the website on BenFrancis.com.