Athleta opening in Fargo's West Acres mall on Tuesday
Parent company Gap, Inc., is doubling down on the popular women's athleisure brand, even as it pares its portfolio by closing 350 Gap and Banana Republic stores and moving away from traditional malls.
FARGO - Popular women’s athleisure store Athleta will be opening at the West Acres Shopping Center at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16.
The store is in the space between Loft and Zumiez.
As part of the celebration, Athleta is giving out $15 shop cards to its first 50 customers, the mall said in an announcement on Facebook.
“We can't wait for you to come explore their amazing selection of women's athleisure wear, including their children's line + women’s sizes XXS-3X! We are beyond excited to welcome this new store to the West Acres family,” the Facebook post said.
The shop is among the Gap Inc. corporations brands. Gap Inc, has decided to give Athleta a higher profile in its brand mix, even as it cuts back on its Gap and Banana Republic stores, MarketWatch reports.
Gap Inc. closed the West Acres Gap store in January, and Gap Kids in July 2020.
Gap Inc. brands include Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, Intermix, Janie and Jack . The company shut down its Hill City men’s athletics brand in 2020.
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Gap Inc. has said it will close 350 Gap and Banana Republic stores in North America between fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2023, MarketWatch reports. That will leave 870 at the end of fiscal 2023.
Many of the closures will come as leases expire, and the company will use the closures to move away from malls, many of which had been struggling even before the coronavirus pandemic.
Gap anticipates that by 2023, 80% of its stores will be outside of malls. The company expects to pay $45 million less in rent annually for the stores that will continue, MarketWatch reported.
In August 2020, CNBC had reported that Gap had seen an 18% drop in sales to $3.28 billion in the third quarter. Sales had been about $4 billion the previous year. Athleta was the only division to see an increase in sales.
Gap's e-commerce sales were up 95% from a year ago, but its in-store sales were down 48% due to the coronavirus pandemic, CNBC reported.