Uh Oh…Gap’s Launching Another Chain

It looks like Gap Inc. is getting ready to roll out another chain. The company is testing stores for its female athletic brand Athleta in the San Francisco area.

Athleta, acquired in 2008, is currently online only. As part of Gap’s direct division, sales sales of the brand are increasing rapidly, and the concept sounds similar to Lululemon, a retailer that’s doing extremely well financially.

But the last time Gap rolled out a chain was a couple years back with Forth & Towne, geared toward women above 35. Pumped up as having huge growth potential by management, Forth & Towne shut its doors before it ever got off the ground.

But Athleta seems like a much different concept. Is there a demand for women’s sports apparel out there, or should Gap concentrate on its three major chains?


6 Responses to “Uh Oh…Gap’s Launching Another Chain”

  1. 1 Doug March 30, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Gap may have deep pockets and the ability to convert existing locations to the new concept, but they don’t have Christine Day and the style team at Lululemon. It will be an also ran. Old Navy of apparel. Ho hum.

  2. 2 ck March 30, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Abasolutely there is demand for women’s sports apparel! The only choice currently is Lululemon which is priced out of reach for the majority of consumers.

  3. 3 Broker March 30, 2010 at 9:15 am

    I bought stock in Lululemon and am enjoying the ride.

  4. 4 Kim March 30, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Agreed CK. From a consumer viewpoint, Athleta offers a versatile product geared towards active women who also want to be stylish. I have been a customer for years and have found their products to last. The merchandise is also wonderful for women who travel.

  5. 5 Heather March 30, 2010 at 10:44 am

    I hope Athleta opens in my area soon. I think they have a better product than Lululemon and a better price point.

  6. 6 Erik March 30, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Absolutely good news. For years, our household has received and purchased from the Athleta catalog. I think the segment has a bright future.

    In some ways large and small, our industry relies on the history and track record of national retailers growing new concepts. A wild guess is that, 10 holding companies were the incubators and/or the driving force behind the growth of various concepts that account for 25% of ALL the GLA leased in anchored, regional shopping centers.

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