Athleta to be sold in 135 REI stores

Athleta to be sold in 135 REI stores Retail dive


Dive Brief:

  • As Athleta looks for more scale, REI will sell a curated selection of Athleta products, including performance and lifestyle apparel and accessories, in 135 stores and online.

  • The Gap-owned brand said the effort is part of a growth plan Athleta set to reach $2 billion in net sales by 2023, according to a company press release.

  • The move is an expansion of a partnership the two retailers formed in February 2018, and comes just after Athleta expanded its online presence into Canada, with plans to open stores there soon.

Dive Insight: Expanding its partnership with REI lends the potential for Athleta to attract a new set of customers. When the two retailers initially announced their partnership in 2018, they had plans to add Athleta products to 14 REI stores and online. However, the Gap-owned brand Thursday said prior to this expansion, products were sold in just five REI stores. Through the partnership, customers can shop Athleta's lifestyle, hike and yoga bottoms, as well as select tops and accessories. In a quarter of the stores included in the partnership, and online, REI will carry select products in extended sizing, from 0 to 26 for its hiking and fitness apparel, the companies said. "We're constantly looking at new ways to bring Athleta to more customers and meet her where she is, which is an important component of our growth strategy," Mary Beth Laughton, president and CEO of Athleta, said in a statement. "This expanded partnership with REI is an example of how we can extend our reach through a like-minded brand and empower a new community of active women consumers." The partnership will also play an important role in Athleta reaching its revenue targets for 2023. The brand, along with Old Navy, continues to outperform the rest of the Gap portfolio quarter after quarter. In the second quarter, Gap Inc. grew its revenue 29% from last year and 5% from 2019 to $4.2 billion. By brand, Old Navy sales grew 21% from 2019, Gap's fell 10% and Banana Republic's fell 15%. The Athleta brand's net sales in the period grew 28% year over year and 35% from 2019 to $341 million. In addition to pursuing new customers, Athleta has been adding features in recent months to help drive loyalty with its current ones. The brand in July launched "AthletaWell," a digital wellness and empowerment platform offering free content exclusively to Athleta Rewards loyalty members.