// Gym+Coffee to open new shop in Belfast this weekend, creating 15 jobs
// Forms part of wider plans to open another 3 stores by the end of the year and double its staff count
// It has also rolled out several benefits for staff, including 6 months paid maternity leave
Gym+Coffee is set to open its first store in Belfast as it confirms double its staff across the head office and retail stores by the end of this year.
Launched in Ireland in 2017, Gym+Coffee is looking to capitalise on the recent athleisure boom, with predictions the sector would be worth $500 billion globally by the end of 2022 – compared to $300 billion in 2018.
Gym+Coffee recently restarted its UK retail expansion drive with new “clubhouse” stores following the initial opening at Westfield London last year.
Its Belfast store in Victoria Square, set to open this weekend, will be its first in Northern Ireland and its 10th clubhouse to date.
The 2300sq ft store will create 15 jobs in the area, and Gym+Coffee added that it now plans to double the current number of head office staff to 50 employees by December of this year.
In retail stores the current figure of 85 team members is expected to reach almost 120 by the end of 2021 following the opening of three new clubhouses.
This will bring the total number of employees from 110 to 170 , a number that is expected to grow to 250 by the end of 2022.
“A store in Belfast has been long overdue and we’re thrilled that we can accommodate the demand from our customer base to open a clubhouse in the city,” Gym+Coffee co-founder Diarmuid McSweeney said.
“Much like our other stores, it will be more than a place to buy clothing but a hub for the community to meet, socialise and get active which will be even more in demand after over a year in lockdowns.
“The future plans for the brand are very much led by our passion to make life richer and we’re excited to see that continue to grow globally.”
Coinciding with announced expansion plans, the athleisure retailer has rolled out several benefits for staff.
This includes the launch of six months fully paid maternity leave for all full-time employees including retail store managers.
This will also be offered in the in the unfortunate circumstance that an employee experiences a miscarriage or stillbirth.
Other new initiatives include one month fully paid paternity leave for new fathers and a hybrid working model which allows staff to work two days a week from home following the end of lockdown.