Tue. Jul 5th, 2022

Gymshark, the British sportswear group, is set to make more than a tenth of its staff redundant, in plans that the company says will fuel international growth.

The clothing group, popular among millennials and Gen Z gym goers thanks to its online marketing and use of influencers, said on Wednesday that 121 staff could lose their jobs but added that it was creating more than 100 new roles in a restructuring of its business.

The West Midlands-based company did not confirm the exact number of jobs it would create in the restructuring, nor where they would be created. Founder and chief executive Ben Francis said the changes would “ensure customer strategies are driven by local lenses, specific knowledge and data, not just by those of us here in Solihull”.

He said the changes would make “certain that the necessary skills are in the right place to give the business the best possible opportunity to grow globally”, saying they would reduce duplication and bring more efficiency to the business as it grows internationally.

Francis founded the business in his garage in 2012, while a 19-year-old student in Birmingham. It is now valued at more than £ 1bn and employs more than 900 people, mainly in Hong Kong, Denver and the UK.

It recently appointed US entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk as an adviser to its board and is targeting further expansion in the US, which is already its biggest market.

Gymshark increased sales by more than 50 per cent in the year to July 2021, growing from £ 260mn to more than £ 400mn. It is on track for slower double-digit growth this year and the restructure is not due to poor financial performance, it said.

Francis said the redundancies were “an incredibly difficult decision to come to and we know that this will be upsetting for our people”, adding “we will seek to offer as many of our people as possible these new roles where it is appropriate to do so ”.

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