Read and analyse the case study on Gymshark, a UK-based sportswear retailer. Then write a well-formulated essay in response to the following questions:
• Which of the four drivers of globalisation has been the most influential in the expansion of Gymshark and to what extent do you think it is a globalised business?
Using the written communication skills you have developed in LB170, write an essay that provides a well-supported response to these questions, drawing on relevant business concepts taught in this module.
Your essay should contain:
• an introduction
• a main body, which develops your argument
• a conclusion that summarises key points of the essay and answers the questions.
Part 1 of the TMA is intended to assess your ability to write an effective business essay by applying relevant business concepts to develop your argument. You may benefit from applying your tutor’s feedback on previous written TMAs to this assignment where relevant.
This part of your assignment should be 1000 words in length and you should keep to within 10 per cent above or below this limit. Any figures or diagrams should be included in the body of the main text and will form part of the total word count. However, the reference list does not contribute to the word limit.
Clothing brand Gymshark becomes UK’s newest £1bn start-up.
Company founded by Ben Francis as a student nine years ago wins £200m investment
Ben Francis, the 28 year old founder of clothing brand Gymshark, has become one of the wealthiest British entrepreneurs after finalising a fundraising that makes his nine year old business the UK’s newest £1bn-valued “unicorn”.
Mr Francis founded the gym wear company as a 19 year-old student in Birmingham out of his parents’ garage. Its headquarters remain nearby in Solihull. The brand has become a hit with younger gym goers. It does not use the traditional combination of advertising and high street shops for promotion, relying instead on support from a network of athletes and social media “influencers” on Instagram and Facebook.
On Friday, Gymshark raised its first ever external funds, with about £200m invested by US fund manager General Atlantic. This values the company at more than £1bn, and will make Mr Francis, who owns a 70 per cent stake, one of the wealthiest business owners in the UK. General Atlantic will own just over 20 per cent, with the remainder held by Mr Francis’ partners and senior management. Gymshark employs about 500 people. Gymshark said it was only the second British company since 2001 to have achieved unicorn status without any prior investment.
Mr Francis told the FT that the funds would be used to help expand the business in North America, where Gymshark already makes a large part of its sales, and in Asia. The company has already opened an office in Denver. “We are nothing without our community,” said Mr Francis, “so we will use this new investment partnership to get even closer to them on a truly global scale. I firmly believe Gymshark has the potential to be to the UK what Nike is to the US and Adidas is to Germany.”