who says his aim was to get as close as possible to ”the perfect store”.

The bar(bell) was set high for Gymshark’s highly anticipated, first-ever flagship store on Regent Street, which will finally open its doors on Saturday after being in the works for over a year.

Gymshark, which was valued at £1 billion in 2020, has risen from a disruptor to a retail force to be reckoned with – and expectations are currently that its flagship store will be equally disruptive.

Ahead of the opening, Retail Gazette had a sneak peek of the former J Crew store and chatted with founder and chief executive Ben Francis, who says his aim was to get as close as possible to ”the perfect store”.

The Gymshark store fully encapsulates exactly what the brand is about fitness for the Instagram generation. From clothing rails made out of fully functional squat racks to moveable billboards and state-of-the-art changing rooms fit with customizable lighting for those looking for the perfect selfie – this is every gym bunny’s dream.

Upon entry, the first thing your eyes are drawn to is the chiseled mannequins seen squatting, stretching, and lunging across the store. Gymshark global IRL director Mitch Healey explains that the model’s muscles are so lifelike because they are 3D-printed scans of Gymshark athletes.

“Our mannequins are real people from our community or ambassador roster,” adds chief brand officer Noel Mack. “Representation is everything so we started a long process of casting, scanning, and finally 3D printing to ensure everyone can see themselves at Gymshark London.”