Athleta, part of San Francisco-based Gap Inc., opened a new 4,800-square-foot retail store at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto. The new Yorkdale store is Athleta’s second company-operated Canadian location opened over the past two months, advancing the brand towards its goal to reach two billion dollars in net sales by 2023.
Athleta first expanded into Canada with the launch of e-commerce in August, followed by the debut of its first company-operated store outside of the United States in September at Park Royal Shopping Centre in West Vancouver, British Columbia.
“As part of our strategic growth plan, Athleta is investing in new access points to reach new customers and expand our community of empowered women and girls,” said Mary Beth Laughton, president and CEO, Athleta. “We know Canadian women are engaging with our brand, with results showing high in-store traffic and strong demand for our versatile lifestyle product since launching e-commerce and our first store earlier this year. This underscores our continued commitment to prioritizing growth in the Canadian market.”
Athleta said “stores remain an important part of the customer journey and serve as a stop on her path as she completes her daily activities, like going to a workout class or shopping for groceries.”
The brand has a fleet of approximately 200 stores throughout North America and said it is on track to open 20-to-30 additional stores by the end of 2021.
Athleta’s new Yorkdale store features 3,000 square feet of dedicated retail space. The store will also feature size-inclusive mannequins and inclusive sizing in more than 500 styles ranging from XXS-3X, in-store styling appointments, free alterations, and wellness-focused community events.
In support of the brand’s commitment to the empowerment of women and girls, Athleta is partnering with the Toronto Six hockey team, Canada’s only women’s professional sports team, marking the team’s largest sponsorship to date.
“Our brand is driven by our mission to empower women and girls in every community we serve,” said Kyle Andrew, Chief Brand Officer, Athleta. “Athleta is proud to continue building our Canadian community through our new partnership with the Toronto Six, Canada’s only professional women’s sports team. We were inspired by the team’s dedication, their vision of a platform for gender equity in sports and beyond and creating opportunity for the next generation of athletes on and off the ice, and we look forward to bringing more visibility to these role models through this new partnership.”
“Our mission at the Toronto Six is to drive change for women in professional sports by fostering an environment where our players are supported holistically as players and role models for the community. Athleta and the Toronto Six share the same values rooted in empowering women and girls at the community level, and we could not be more excited to partner with them,” said Digit Murphy, President, Toronto Six. “We are thrilled to include the Athleta logo on our team jerseys and look forward to a prosperous season with Athleta by our side.”