Bleckmann and Gymshark in the joint run for the 2021 Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy

06 April 2021

Bleckmann and Gymshark join forces in the run for the Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy 2021. The trophy is presented by Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT), the government agency for international business in Flanders, Belgium’s northern region. Bleckmann and Gymshark became a true example of a tight partnership, resulting in a first-ever double nomination.

With this trophy, FIT puts the spotlight on international companies with investment projects in Flanders. The winner will be chosen during the Foreign Investment Trophy ceremony on Thursday 22 April 2021 in Lier. Those who register at can attend the ceremony online.

Project in scope: e-fulfilment center in Rieme

Gymshark, British fitness apparel & accessories brand, partners with Bleckmann for the e-commerce logistics solutions. In 2020, this collaboration led to a joint investment of EUR 10 million in the construction of a state-of-the-art distribution center in Rieme (Flanders, Belgium). The project allowed to create 225 jobs in the region. An additional investment of EUR 15 million is planned moving forward.

As an pure e-commerce brand, Gymshark highly values its engaged community and prioritizes its customer promise. “We were looking for more than a service provider; we wanted an e-commerce logistics expert that could serve as an extension of our own brand,” Steve Hewitt explains. “That’s why we went with Bleckmann: they share our values.”

The partnership started in 2017 and turned into a long-term commitment. Reinardt Van Oel, Chief Operations Officer Belgium & UK at Bleckmann, recalls: “We soon realized that we needed to set up a new, scalable site equipped with advanced automation solutions to accommodate the ambitious growth plan. Gymshark was on course to double its figures annually, from 120,000 units per day at peak times in 2018 to 240,000 in 2019 and 480,000 in 2020.”

“The combination of people, a strategic location and the proximity of our Desteldonk site culminated in the choice of Rieme, Flanders,” explains Reinardt van Oel.

This joint investment resulted a great example of an e-commerce logistics excellence for Gymshark’s distribution centers across the globe. The Flanders site run by Bleckmann will become a global expertise hub for Gymshark’s other entities.

Discover more about the nomination of Bleckmann and Gymshark: video here.


The winner of the trophy will be selected based on the results of two rounds of voting – by the general public online and a professional jury.

Voting opens on 23 March 2021 at

Claire Tillekaerts (CEO Flanders Investment & Trade): “In addition to Flanders’ local companies, foreign investors are an important source of economic prosperity, additional jobs and new knowledge in our region. In 2020, for example, foreign companies channeled EUR 2.39 billion into Flanders, spread over 224 projects. These efforts generated 4,717 new jobs, one in five of which was linked to R&D. With the Foreign Investment Trophy, we show our sincere appreciation for this positive impact. The fact that three European firms have been nominated for the Foreign Investment of the Year Trophy is in line with a recent trend: the share of European investments in Flanders was historically high last year.”

Jan Jambon (Minister-President of Flanders): “To safeguard the resilience of Flanders’ economy and labor market, it’s essential to attract foreign investment in addition to stimulating exports and innovation. Getting Flanders on the shortlists of foreign companies with international growth plans is therefore crucial. With the Foreign Investment Trophy ceremony, we recognize the commitment of such companies.”

Websites – for more about the Foreign Investment Trophy; – for more info about FIT; – for more on foreign direct investment in Flanders.

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Dorota Tankink
Dorota Tankink

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