Gap Inc. is moving full steam ahead on its aggressive store opening plan for its Athleta brand.
The San Francisco-based company said on Thursday that it will introduce its first outlet stores for the athletic brand this year as part of its aggressive strategy to open 30 to 40 new Athleta stores this year.
According to the company, Athleta will debut its first 3,100 square-foot outlet store at the Chicago Premium Outlets in Illinois this summer, followed by a 3,300 square foot location at Leesburg Premium Outlets in Virginia this fall.
Each outlet store will feature a curated assortment of the brand’s performance and lifestyle product, including best-selling styles like the Salutation Stash Tight, Momentum Seamless Tank and Conscious Crop. The remaining outlet store assortment will offer customers “unique value” on existing styles, the company said.
“As part of our long-term strategic growth plan, Athleta is investing in new access points to reach new customers, deliver new value to customers who already know and love our brand, and expand our community of empowered women and girls,” Mary Beth Laughton, president and CEO of Athleta, said in a statement. “Our new outlet stores are intentionally designed to stand out from traditional outlet and clearance store models, helping drive new customer acquisition and increased brand awareness for Athleta.”
To date, Athleta has added 12 new stores in North America in 2022, with new locations in San Francisco, Calif.; Southbury, Conn.; Park Ridge, Ill.; Lafayette, La.; Cary, N.C.; Chester, N.J.; Reno, Nev.; Exton, Pa.; Franklin, Tenn.; Riverton and Salt Lake City, Utah; and Burlington, Ontario in Canada.
These openings follow last month’s announcement that the brand will expand its presence in Canada. According to the company, the Canadian market remains a strategic growth priority for Athleta and the Gap Inc. portfolio of brands, which operates more than 250 stores in Canada.
“Since our launch last year, Canadian customers have quickly gravitated toward our offerings,” Jenelle Sheridan, VP/GM of Athleta Canada, said in a statement last month. “Athleta’s Canadian business is a key contributor to long term growth, and we believe our store fleet growth strategy will get us there as we see Canadians return to in-store shopping.”
With this announcement, the company said it would open 5 stores in the country this year – the first of which was a 4,260 square foot location at Mapleview Centre in the aforementioned Burlington, Ontario. Four more Canadian stores will open this fall in Chinook Centre in Calgary, Sherway Gardens in Etobicoke, West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton and 1035 Robson Street in Vancouver.