Gymshark’s boss surprised Londoners at a market this afternoon by selling the Gen Z sportswear company’s products at a hefty discount.
Long queues were pictured at the Lower Marshes market near Waterloo on Friday afternoon, after leisurewear fans caught wind of the publicity stunt.
All products were sold for £5 at the market with Gymshark’s T-shirts and leggings usually trading for around £30-£50.
CEO Ben Francis, who has a net worth of £700m with a stake over 70 per cent in the company he created as a teenager, was at the event to reassure customers they weren’t buying knock-off items.
The online retailer has pledged it will stake its physical claim in the capital by opening a flagship store later this year.
“We’ve always called ourselves a community brand, and lately lots of other brands seemed to have followed suit,” Noel Mack, chief brand officer at Gymshark, said.
He added: “But you can’t just say the word community and that makes it true, you have to be out here, with them. It’s no secret that we are coming to London later this year with our flagship on Regent Street, but that’s going to take a while and we’re not into standing still.”
Mack said the brand “wanted to get out there with our people in almost polar-opposite way to a flagship store in London.”
“Who said a billion dollar brand can’t do a London market stall? I love what the team have done here,” he said. “Popping up a market stall, having people wonder if it’s legit until they look closer and realise it’s Ben Francis selling to them…I can’t get enough of it.”
The company, which was valued at £1bn in 2020, was once thought to be eagerly eyeing a public listing.
However, in autumn last year Francis quashed fierce speculation. In an interview with The Financial Times, the young CEO said he was “talking to banks [and] talking to institutions” for information on the company’s options, rather than pursuing any immediate plans to go public.