Athleta seeks to drive growth through expansion of wholesale partnership with REI
Gap-owned women’s athleticwear brand Athleta has announced the expansion of its wholesale partnership with REI, an agreement which will see the label’s products sold in 135 of the American outdoor retailer’s stores, up from five.
Under the expanded partnership, REI will carry a selection of Athleta hiking and fitness apparel in a quarter of its stores, as well as on its website. Pieces will be available in select extended sizing, in sizes 0-26.
“We are thrilled to offer a wider selection of Athleta options, in more locations, to our customers,” said REI’s senior merchandising manager, Krista Hildebrand, in a release. “Athleta is an amazing brand offering many versatile apparel choices so customers can focus on enjoying the outdoors.”
The expansion of the partnership is aligned with Athleta’s wider growth strategy, through which it hopes to achieve $2 billion in net sales by 2023. In order to do so, the brand is doubling down on ways to improve brand awareness and customer engagement, notably through investing in new touchpoints.
“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,” explained Athleta president and CEO Mary Beth Laughton. “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.”
Athleta’s parent company, Gap Inc., reported net sales of $4.2 billion in the second quarter ended July 31, 2021. The athletic apparel brand contributed $341 million to this total, with its comparable sales rising 13% compared to the second quarter of 2020, when the company’s operations were affected by Covid-19 store closures, and 27% compared to Q2 2019.
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