Athleta bets on Germany's Zalando for expansion in Europe
Athleta, which offers premium women’s performance and lifestyle wear with a focus on sustainability, recently joined the Zalando platform as part of a wider growth strategy through which it hopes to achieve $2 billion in net sales by 2023.
“International expansion is a key part of Athleta’s growth strategy, and there is significant potential to grow this incredible, relevant, purpose-driven brand in Europe,” said Adrienne Gernand, head of Gap Inc. strategic alliances, licensing and real estate, in a release. “Zalando’s extensive digital reach and personalized customer experience gives us real opportunity to build brand awareness and begin to scale the business across 23 new markets.”
With the arrival of Athleta, Zalando has also been able to expand its sports category and take another step toward its own objective of becoming one of Europe’s leading online sports fashion retailers.
In order to drive awareness around Athleta’s launch on Zalando, the brand is taking advantage of Zalando Marketing Services (ZMS). A 360-degree marketing agency providing brands with information and data that supports them in identifying target audiences in Europe, ZMS also creates tailor-made campaigns and activations targeting specific groups with the right messaging. The agency’s services are based on data from 45 million customers in 23 European markets.
“As the leading online platform for brands and retailers in Europe, we have a wealth of experience, expertise and insight about what it takes to grow your brand successfully across 23 European markets,” explained Andreas Antrup, senior vice president of advertising at Zalando and managing director of ZMS. “That makes us the preferred partner for US brands like Athleta looking to expand their reach to new customers.”
The campaign created by ZMS for Athleta includes dedicated landing pages, app and web teasers, and sponsored products in the Zalando Fashion Store. Moving forward, the campaign will be expanded over a range of social media channels in the coming months and will also be featured in the Zalando newsletter, as well as being integrated into other Zalando campaigns.
Athleta’s existing “Power of She” campaign, which features the likes of Simone Biles and Allyson Felix, is also being articulated to amplify the brand’s launch on Zalando.
“With Athleta, Zalando is welcoming a valuable female-led performance brand on board that supports our strategy and shares our values when it comes to diversity, inclusion and sustainability,” said Cornelius Lay, head of sports at Zalando.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Athleta recently announced that it will be supporting its growth strategy on its home turf through the expansion of its wholesale partnership with outdoor retailer REI.
In the second quarter ended July 31, 2021, Athleta contributed $341 million in sales to parent company Gap’s total quarterly revenue of $4.2 billion.
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