Gymshark founder in line for £700m fortune as brand eyes London float – Telegraph.co.uk

Gymshark has attracted a cult following on social media and has become a hit with customers for its affordable leggings and sports bras.

The company now has 5.4 million followers on Instagram, an increase of around 800,000 in the past year as the pandemic fuelled demand for athleisure wear as people ditched formal office clothes while working from home.

To help propel its rapid growth, Gymshark has used fitness influencers who act as paid ambassadors for the brand and post daily updates on their workouts wearing its clothes.

Earlier this month, Mr Francis shrugged off potential competition from larger brands such as Nike and Adidas, saying he was “more worried about the 16-year-old person that was similar to what I was like in the bedroom, trying to build out that new brand”.

Gymshark recorded revenue of more than £400m in the year to July, a 50pc jump on a year earlier as it continued to make headway in the US, its largest market. The UK is its second largest market.

In July, Mr Francis returned as chief executive of Gymshark after stepping down from the helm in 2015.

However, global supply chain chaos and investor fears that the shine is coming off some of the pandemic’s biggest winners could cause Gymshark to retreat from a potential float.

On Monday, the chief executive of Asos quit abruptly after the company warned that profits could fall by more than a third this year due to delivery delays and soaring shipping costs. Shares in the online fashion retailer have plunged by around 50pc this year.

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