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April 7, 2022

Gymshark mulls job cuts and new roles for global expansion

The founder of the UK's fitness apparel brand Gymshark has announced his company's ambitious global expansion plans could put 121 jobs at risk while creating 100 new ones.

By Laura Husband

Gymshark’s founder and CEO Ben Francis said in an official statement that if the proposed global expansion plans were implemented, it could lead to the loss of 121 jobs across the business before the end of its financial year (31 July 2022), however he was quick to point out there would be 100 new positions as part of the wider growth strategy.

He added that Gymshark would seek to offer as many of its “people as possible the new roles as possible where it is appropriate to do so”.

Francis said: “This was an incredibly difficult decision to come to and we know that this will be upsetting for our people. These proposals are subject to consultation and no decision has been made about how we will ultimately proceed. Our immediate priority is to help and support those at risk through this process and do what we can to best set them up for the future.”

He also wanted to stress it is absolutely no reflection on the quality of work, character or professionalism of those people affected and the company will be doing all it can to help them demonstrate their skills and expertise.

Francis explained the potential move will be driven by the company’s international expansion and ambitious growth plans as well as the need to create commercial accountability within the regions and ensure customer strategies are driven by what he described as “local lenses, specific knowledge and data,” not just by those working in the company’s headquarters in Solihull, UK.

His company announced only last month that it was adding to its established operations in Mississauga, Canada with its first US-based centre in Rialto, California and East Coast centres expected to follow later this year.

Sports and casualwear brands such as Gymshark have proven to be the success story of the pandemic with the sportswear market expected to grow 25% between 2021-2025 as consumers continue to adapt to a lifestyle change linked to Covid.

Francis said he believes Gymshark’s new global expansion proposal is designed to bring improved cross functional working; guarantee localised accountability, remove duplication and ensure efficiency in teams, process and systems.

He added that it ensures “the necessary skills are in the right place to give the business the best possible opportunity to grow globally and be the 100-year brand we truly believe we can be.”

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