The Top 500 apparel chain plans to expand its reserve online, pick up in store program, as well as its presence in China.
Gap fills athletic apparel slot with purchase of Athleta
Gap Inc. said yesterday it will buy women’s active apparel retailer Athleta Inc. for about $150 million in cash. The deal is expected to close in the next two weeks.
Managing Editor, International Research
Gap Inc. said yesterday it will buy women’s active apparel retailer Athleta Inc. for about $150 million in cash. Gap says buying Athleta, which sells online and by catalog, will help it tap the growing $31 billion women’s athletic clothing business in the U.S. The deal enhances Gap’s s e-commerce offerings at a time when store sales are lagging.
The Athleta apparel line will take up a fifth tab on Gap’s e-commerce site labeled Universality. The tab system lets shoppers browse and buy from all of Gap’s retail sites-Gap, shoe store Piperlime, higher-end clothing retailer Banana Republic and lower-cost apparel merchant Old Navy-in one cart and for one shipping fee. The retail chain launched its multi-store shopping feature in June.
For the second quarter ending Aug. 2, Gap, No. 24 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported web sales grew by 11% to $191 million from $172 million in Q2 of 2007. Gap’s total sales fell 5.4% to $3.5 billion from $3.7 billion in the second quarter of the prior year, and same-store sales declined year over year by 10%.
Joe Teno, CEO of Athleta will stay on, reporting to Toby Lenk, president of the Gap Inc. Direct division. Petaluma, CA-based Athleta launched 10 years ago and offers apparel for such activities as yoga, running and skiing. It has 250 employees.