By  on April 20, 2009

Seven months after acquiring activewear brand Athleta, Gap Inc. has added the brand to its online stores. Customers who shop online at Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic or Piperlime will see the brand listed alongside the others as a “fifth tab.” Customers can now use one shopping cart to shop all five brands and get a flat shipping rate of $7.

Gap paid $150 million in cash for the Petaluma, Calif.-based Athleta in September.

Athleta began as a catalogue retailer during the dot-com era in 1998, selling its own brand of activewear organized by sport, at a time when yogawear and other women’s athletic apparel were not widely available. Its trademark prints, colorblocking and basic jersey pants available in a variety of silhouettes seem like a natural extension of the Gap’s colorful basics.

Customers can also go directly to the Athleta online store by typing in the URL. Gap’s other brands do not appear as tabs on the Athleta site.

Gap’s online business has been growing rapidly, and the company sold more than $1 billion of apparel though its online stores last year. Gap has taken advantage of the online medium to try new formats, such as Piperlime, an online-only multibrand shoe retailer similar to Endless or Zappos. It has also offered extended sizes such as maternity and plus sizes online.

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