Inside the billion-pound rise of Gymshark

The Midlands-based gym attire company has just received a valuation of £1 billion. At just 28 years old, its co-founder Ben Francis has come a long way from his pizza delivery days…

On 17 August 2020, a tweet was sent from the Gymshark account to Pizza Hut. While unusual for the fitness brand, at first glance, the question was simple enough:

“hey @pizzahutdeliver u up? how’d you feel about @BenFrancis1992 delivering one last pizza? you know for old times sake” [sic].

To the outsider, it’s nothing more than an attempt at a humorous online exchange, an example of the social media nous the British brand is so good at. Dig a little deeper, though, and the tweet becomes a victorious statement of celebration from the brand. Eight years ago, you see, its founder, majority shareholder and chief marketing officer Ben Francis was earning £5 per hour delivering pizzas for his local Pizza Hut.

Become a Gentleman’s Journal Member?

Like the Gentleman’s Journal? Why not join the Clubhouse, a special kind of private club where members receive offers and experiences from hand-picked, premium brands. You will also receive invites to exclusive events, the quarterly print magazine delivered directly to your door and your own membership card.

Click here to find out more