It is hard to know how a then 19-year-old Ben Francis had the time or the energy to get Gymshark up and running.
Gymshark now has more than 1.2 million customers, and 215 employees at its Solihull headquarters in the West Midlands 2.4 million followers on Instagram and 1.5 million on Facebook.
Gymshark holds events around the world, inviting fans of the brand to meet some of its influencers. Hundreds of people typically attend.
See last weeks CSGA WEEKLY article Gymshark Toronto Popup
Emily Sutherland, a features writer at trade magazine Drapers, says Gymshark’s use of social media influencers has been key to its success.
“The influencers give shoppers a reason to buy into Gymshark over other brands, because they feel a personal connection,” she says.
As for the future, the plan is to expand Gymshark’s overseas sales. Already 40% of its sales come from the US, and it aims to have 25 international country-specific online stores by 2020, up from 11 at present.
The company may also open its first bricks-and-mortar store.