Australian activewear brand Lorna Jane has opened its first store in the UK with a flagship in Covent Garden, London.

Lorna Jane, which was set up in 1989 by Lorna Jane Clarkson and now operates more 150 stores in Australia, the US and France, has opened a 1,722 sq ft two-level store at St Martin’s Courtyard. The store features a basement where fitness fans can take part in classes.

The London store marks the brand’s 61st international store and follows the opening of new shop in Nice, France in recent weeks.

The activewear market has swelled in recent years with the arrival of Lululemon in the UK and high street retailers such as Gap and H&M moving in the sector with their own ranges. More shoppers are buying activewear, with over half (53.7%) of UK consumers purchasing workout clothes over the last 12 months, according to research by Verdict.

Bill Clarkson, chief executive of Lorna Jane, said: ”We aren’t just opening another activewear store. We are bringing the ’Active Living Philosophy’ to life in central London by including a Move studio. This is a rallying point where our community can form a deeper connection with the brand and each other through the daily classes offered.”

He added that retailer has plans this year to increase fulfillment capability with the opening of European and Asian distribution centres.

“It’s humbling and a credit to everyone involved in the brand that we are making such great inroads in challenging times,” he added. “In tough times, great brands can flourish and that is just what we will continue to do by keeping the customer at the heart of our business.”