- Tess Stenzel |
Gap Inc. brand Athleta is expanding outside of the US for the first time as the performance lifestyle brand plants roots in Canada.
Athleta will launch a Canadian e-commerce platform this summer, followed by opening retail stores in Ontario, Vancouver, and British Columbia.
According to the brand, it plans on opening between 20 to 30 stores a year, and the Canada expansion is an essential component for brand awareness, customer acquisition, and a strategic step towards growing the brand. Athleta stated it surpassed one billion dollars in net sales with a 16 percent annual sales growth in 2020.
“International expansion is a key component of our growth strategy to reach two billion dollars in net sales by 2023, and we are very proud to introduce Athleta to customers in Canada,” said Mary Beth Laughton, president, and CEO, Athleta, in a release.
As 60 percent of the brand’s business was generated through e-commerce sales last year in the US, Athleta plans to debut an e-commerce platform with a product fulfillment and distribution center in Brampton, Ontario, eliminating international taxes and lengthy shipping times for Canada-based consumers.
In addition, the brand affirmed it would be more inclusive by offering extended sizing in approximately 500 styles of apparel for the Canadian market in stores and online. At the same time, 70 percent of products are made from sustainable materials.
“As a customer-led brand, Athleta conducted extensive research to understand the behaviors of the Canadian consumer. The findings support customer demand for a purpose-driven performance lifestyle brand. Athleta’s differentiated brand focus on wellness, sustainability and inclusivity coupled with versatile product will resonate across geographies into the Canadian market,” added the brand.