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Kmart is getting physical and going at it with one of America’s most popular fitness gurus, Jillian Michaels.

This story first appeared in the August 5, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The Impact by Jillian Michaels collection will launch on Sunday and in 500 Kmart stores Aug. 17, reflecting the chain’s desire to punch up its activewear.

Up to now, Kmart has taken a limited approach to activewear, with only one active line, Everlast Sport, currently on the shelves. Yet with Impact, “We see a big opportunity for this brand, this partnership and for growing our activewear business at Kmart,” said Diane Vaccaro, chief marketing officer of Kmart Apparel.

Technical characteristics like wicking, stretch, reflective details, and warming and cooling properties; small to XXL sizes, and 24 styles each in a variety of colors will all be part of the package.

Items will be priced on the premium side of Kmart’s range, with the apparel ranging from $14.99 to $24.99, and accessories, like gym bags, priced from $10.99 to $36.99. Kmart is creating small brand shops housing six racks to spotlight the new private brand.

“I was involved in the creation of every single item in the collection,” Michaels told WWD. “I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite. I’m proud of each and every item.”

Michaels is an author, television personality known for her role on “The Biggest Loser,” an entrepreneur, martial artist, trainer and health and fitness evangelist.

Before becoming successful, she struggled with her own weight but became determined to change. In 2012, Michaels was named as one of People Magazine’s most beautiful people. She launched her company, Empowered Media LLC, with business partner Giancarlo Chersich with the goal of creating total life solutions for people that involve all aspects of good living — health, wellness, weight loss and overall lifestyle.

“Jillian is really of the moment and one of the most inspiring people out there today. Women trust her,” said Vaccaro. “She’s created a brand name for herself and has transformed the lives of millions of people. Within a year’s time, Impact by Jillian Michaels could be in all of the Kmart stores.” Kmart operates nearly 1,200 stores.

Vaccaro said the collection “is really inspired by four key areas — yoga, core training, running and lifestyle, which is more about cool down. We are launching Impact in activewear. Women will choose to wear it in different ways. Some will wear it as casualwear. Some will wear it as workoutwear. If you look at the statistics from NPD and other research firms, this is a category that is growing.”

Vaccaro said Michaels will be marketing the new brand “across all of her touch points” including social media, speaking tours, podcasts and a DVD being released in September in which she wears the line. Impact will also be featured on Shop Your Way, Kmart’s and its sister division Sears’ online shopping community offering loyalty rewards, content, sweepstakes, shareable wish lists and personalized services. In addition, there will be in-store signs with QR codes from which video content can be launched onto mobile devices, as Kmart does with its Sofia by Sofia Vergara and Sophia Grace & Rosie collections.

“I’m intimately involved in every aspect of Impact apparel from design and marketing promotion to customer satisfaction,” said Michaels.

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