Now this is a rarity. Most of the retail world is may be trying to conquer the Internet, but Gap is opening a store to sell a brand born on the web. Today, the company will open a Athleta store in San Francisco. The brand was originally available only online and in catalogs and was acquired by Gap in 2008 for $150 million. For those of you not familiar with Athleta, it's like Lululemon only more less expensive but just as well made. They feature sportswear, including yoga wear, athletic wear and items to wear to and from the gym or around town. We are huge fans at Second City Style.
Athleta has a slightly wider selection than Lululemon; it sells ski clothes and swimsuits, while Lululemon is focused on yoga and clothes to wear on day-to-day errands.
According to the New York Times, this appears to be a move for Gap Inc. to capture some of the major success that Lululemon has had. While Lululemon it has a Web site, its 130 or so stores drive more than 90 percent of its revenue.
The Athleta retail store will be run within the company’s direct-sales division, which includes online sales, rather than in a division that traditionally operates physical stores. And in a first for Gap, the online and in-store inventories will be combined, meaning Web customers could see items that are on sale in the store, and request that those items be shipped to them.
Hopefully this store will be a smashing success and they open more locations like in NYC and Chicago…hint, hint.
Source & photo: New York Times
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