Macy’s will launch an exclusive activewear line this spring called Ideology, and has tapped “Dancing With the Stars” veteran Cheryl Burke as the collection’s face and brand ambassador. The line of jackets, tops, yoga pants, shorts, sweatshirts and sports bras will debut in February in 160 Macy’s doors.
“I’ve been a lifelong shopper at Macy’s, and when they approached me to come on board to be a spokesperson for Ideology, I jumped at the chance,” said Burke. “The clothes are very me. They’re just like what I normally wear for rehearsals or to workout in, and the sports bras are quite possibly the best I’ve ever encountered.”
Burke, 27, is a two-time winner of “Dancing With the Stars” and is currently in the semifinal round this season with partner Rob Kardashian, which airs Mondays and Tuesdays.
The collection is priced from $7.98 to $58 and will be the entry-level price point among the department store’s activewear assortments. There will be deliveries of about 30 new sku’s a month under categories that Macy’s dubs sweat, stretch and relax. Sweat pieces incorporate performance fabrics with moisture-wicking properties, the stretch component emphasizes spandex blends for comfort and the relax range includes fashion pieces such as jackets and anoraks for post-workout or running errands.
“Women’s activewear is about a $9 billion business in total, and we saw a big white space within Macy’s to capture more of that,” said Nancy Slavin, senior vice president of marketing at Macy’s Merchandising Group. “We are targeting a fashion customer around 35 years old, who can wear this line when she’s working out or just for weekend activities.”
In some stores, Ideology will sit in the Macy’s activewear department near brands such as Nike, Puma and The North Face. In stores without dedicated activewear departments, Ideology will sit in the better sportswear department.
Macy’s expects to expand Ideology into more than 300 doors by 2013. The retailer operates about 810 stores. “The expectation is that this will be a significant player in this zone, with a significant footprint in Macy’s stores,” said Slavin.
Burke has a yearlong deal to promote Ideology in a marketing push that includes in-store appearances and a branded Facebook page and Twitter feed. Next fall, Burke is expected to appear on the 14th season of “Dancing With the Stars,” and Macy’s plans to integrate Ideology into the show. Macy’s has been an advertiser on the dance competition for several seasons.
“Burke is one of the highest-profile dancers on the show. She is known for her talent and athleticism, but she’s also very curvy and relatable to our customer,” said Slavin.