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Why Gymshark has opened its ‘Deload’ barbershop


Why Gymshark has opened its 'Deload' barbershop
The Deload Barbershop is open from 12 to 17 July, offering free trims.

Gymshark has opened the doors to its new ‘Deload” pop-up barbershop for the week, where the sporting giant is providing a “non-judgemental safe space” for men to open up, offload and have a chat with professional mental health trained barbers, while receiving a free trim.

Located in London’s Shoreditch, Gymshark will be hosting panel talks across two evenings, with representatives from Calm, Curfew Grooming, Gymshark athletes and influencers, who will be discussing “Be the Mate You’d Want” and “Building Real Strength”.

Retail Gazette took a visit to the store to get a deeper understanding into why Gymshark decided to open Deload.

A Gymshark spokesperson said: “We want to talk about men’s mental health, we don’t talk about it enough, an awful lot of men are struggling.”

They explained that this is what inspired the retailer to launch Gymshark Deload, an innovative mental health initiative platform, which encourages young people to focus on their mental as well as their physical wellbeing, providing content, stories and advice from wellbeing experts and medical professionals.

“We found that people talk to their barbers more than their doctors, than mental health professionals,” the spokerspon added.

“So we found this to be a authentic way to create something branded and work with Calm to make a difference for men’s mental health.”

Speaking on if the athleisure giant would follow up the pop-up with any similar activations, Gymshark didn’t rule it out, saying it “definitely wants to continue to conversation.”

Brands have been facing increasing pressure to support their work forces as the cost-of-living crisis continues and Brits grapple with soaring energy bills and hefty grocery shop prices.

Gymshark said that retailers do need to step up to the plate to ensure mental health isn’t swept under the table.

To ramp up talk on men’s mental health even more, the barbershop will be hosting panel talks this week where there will be “intimate discussions” allowing people to open up.


The spokesperson added that men struggle with opening up to their friends and that its important for Gymshark and other brands to play host to having those deep conversations rather than keeping it surface level, adding that pop-ups are a great way to approach heavier subjects while still ensuring consumers are able to have fun and get comfortable.

“Brands have to make sure they are diving deeper into this,” they add. Explaining that it cannot be done once a week or as part of mental health awareness week.

“Brands need to definitely be doing it authentically throughout the whole year.”

One day one of the barber shop, the feedback so far has been “amazing”, with the store staying full of customers.

With all the barbers mental health trained, courtesy of mental health charity Calm, they can open up to the customers using certain cues and questions.

“If they want to open up they can or if they just want to have a quick chat and a trim and don’t want to get into anything too heavy they can,” the spokesperson added.

Gymshark will also be selling exclusive Gymshark Deload Barbershop merchandise in-store, with all proceeds going to mental health charity Calm.

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