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Gap Inc's Athleta Division Is Prepping for a Rapid Store Growth

Photo courtesy of Athleta
Photo courtesy of Athleta

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Athleta is a sportswear brand that Gap purchased in 2008. The brand caters to every aspect of an active lifestyle with performance clothing that'll take you from a quick run to the grocery store to a long run on the beach. The clothing is akin to Lululemon, but just for women and encompasses other sports like golf, swim, tennis, cycling, and triathlon. Just looking at that list makes us tired. The company started as a catalogue business in 1998 and began e-commerce two years later.

Tess Roering, VP of marketing at Athleta shared with WWD, “the catalogue has been tremendously successful, but to grow the business and provide what women want, we need stores.” The Sonoma, California based company currently has two brick-and-mortar stores, both in the greater San Francisco area. They are planning to open eight to 10 more by year's end and 50 locations by 2013.

Two will open in New York, Upper East Side and Upper West Side, in August. Other cities scheduled to open in 2011 are Newport Beach at Fashion Island, Los Angeles at The Grove, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Time for ladies across the country to start lacing up their running shoes because there's much to be done.
· Athleta [Official Site]
· Gap Set for Athleta Expansion [WWD, subscription req'd]