Athleta, on course with its aggressive multiyear store expansion plan, has opened a two-level, 5,000-square-foot store in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan.
“Athleta Soho marks our 35th new store opening in North America this year, meeting our goal to add 30 to 40 new stores to our fleet in 2022,” said Cristy Maggio, head of stores for Athleta. “The expansion of our store footprint is an important driver of Athleta’s long-term growth plan, helping us build brand awareness and expand our community of empowered women and girls.”
Athleta, a division of Gap Inc., plans to open about 30 stores next year when it expects to top $2 billion in sales. Locations for those stores have not been revealed. Athleta reached $1.45 billion in sales in 2021.
The brand is the only division of Gap Inc. that’s been on a growth trajectory lately. Gap Inc. also operates the Banana Republic, Old Navy and Gap brands.
In Manhattan, Athleta operates three other stores, in Hudson Yards on the west side, at 1517 Third Avenue on the Upper East Side, and at 126 Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron neighborhood. “We do not plan to open additional stores in New York in 2022,” a spokesperson said.
The Athleta Soho, which opened at 594 Broadway just before Thanksgiving and was revealed Thursday, showcases women’s and girls’ styles, and has a range of services including free alterations and style appointments; buy online, pick up in store, and a schedule of community events.
One distinct feature is the flexible layout enabling Athleta to get the community together for guided movement and meditation classes, styling sessions and panel discussions and forums. The space is available for local professionals to reserve at no cost for free community events. For example, there’s a movement session scheduled for Monday and a well-being session on Dec. 7.
In the third quarter of this year, Athleta sales were up 6 percent to $340 million, with some softness as consumers shifted from activewear to occasionwear and more workwear. Athleta’s comparable sales were flat during the quarter, compared to the year-ago period.
The brand launched intimates in September and sells joggers, sweats, leggings, shorts, shorts, for yoga and training as well as travel and sleep-related products. There are more than 250 company-operated Athleta stores in the U.S. and Canada, and athleta.com.