Athleta launches underwear | Retail diving

This audio is generated automatically. Please let us know if you have any comments.

Diving brief:

  • Athleta announced a launch into the lingerie category on Thursday with the introduction of its Rituals collection, according to a company press release sent to Retail Dive.
  • Rituals, which will be available on the Athleta website from September 20, is all about improved comfort and support through its fit, fabric and construction and has been tested by over 100 women.
  • The collection includes bikinis, boy shorts and thong underwear in sizes XXS to 3X and is priced at $16 each or three for $36. An adjustable strap bra is available in sizes A through DD, while a t-shirt bra is available in sizes B through G. Bras range in price from $59 to $69.

Overview of the dive:

Athleta thinks their audience is ready to buy underwear.

The retailer said 15% of its searches on the website are for the category, presenting an opportunity for growth and a way for shoppers to get a “first layer”.

“As a customer-focused brand, we are constantly interacting with their needs and listening to their needs and I know the underwear category is growing,” Felix del Toro, chief product officer at Athleta, said in a statement. “By introducing the Rituals collection, we are inviting even more customers into our brand and giving them the opportunity to build a complete wardrobe at Athleta layer by layer.”

The U.S. lingerie market is expected to represent $16.2 billion in business over the next four years and is one of the fastest growing apparel categories with a compound annual growth rate of 9% over two year, according to Euromonitor and NPD research cited by Athleta.

The retailer sold underwear in-store and online in 2018, but most of those products stopped selling within a year. Rituals is considered a full launch in the category.

Athleta is entering an increasingly competitive product category. The major Victoria’s Secret actor is in the midst of a branding turnaround, which is showing signs of success as it begins to resume sales previously lost to rivals. DTC players are also making bigger moves: Parry recently reached an agreement to hit Urban Outfitters stores, vintage underwear brand Thinx formed a partnership with Walmart to sell its affordable Thinx For All line, and Knix is ​​starting to open your own brick and mortar stores in the United States

Athleta has always been a strong performer for parent company Gap Inc., and analysts as recently as this spring have asked if the retailer should derive from its sister brands.

Yet he faltered in the second quarter, with sales up just 1% and compositions down 8%. The brand faced a “shift in consumer preference from athleisure to casual and professional categories as well as modest spring/summer product acceptance challenges,” said Gap Inc.

“We believe Athletica has tremendous growth potential as it continues to build brand awareness and establish authority in the active market,” said Bobby Martin, interim CEO of Gap Inc. said in a call with analysts Last week. “However, we are experiencing short-term softness. We pivot and react quickly to meet its needs with lifestyle products that perform while staying true to our DNA.