Gap-owned San Francisco-based women’s athletic retailer Athleta has opened its first Canadian location at Park Royal in West Vancouver. The store was announced in April 2021 and its opening marks the brand’s first international expansion outside of the United States. The store opened this week and spans approximately 5,000 square feet filled with performance lifestyle apparel.
The West Vancouver store houses a variety of performance lifestyle apparel that includes bottoms (sweatpants, skirts, tights, leggings, etc.), tops (including sweatshirts, long sleeve, tanks and support tops), bras, dresses (including rompers, maxi/midi and above-the-knee), outerwear (including jackets, vests, rain/insulated options) and accessories (including bags, hats, socks and gloves) geared toward women and girls.
In an effort to promote inclusivity, the retailer groups sizing into categories: Petite, Regular, Tall and Plus (1x to 3x). This sizing is found for about 500 products found in-store and online.
The Athleta store opening adds to the crowded athleisure offering at Park Royal. Aerie, a lifestyle retailer and sub-brand owned by American Eagle Outfitters, has construction signage erected in the same section of the shopping centre as Athleta.
Lululemon is an obvious established athleisure competitor and it operates a separate Men’s store adjacent to its women’s store at Park Royal. Competing women’s and girl’s apparel in the shopping centre include Urban Outfitters (activewear, intimates, rompers, bottoms) and Zara (yoga wear, skirts, shirts, bottoms) as well as the larger multi-brand stores including Winners, Simons, Saks Off Fifth and Hudson’s Bay which all carry their own varieties of athleisure at varied price points.
The Canadian store expansion adds to Athleta’s network of over 200 American stores already operating south of the border and forms part of Athleta’s growth plan to reach $2 billion in net sales by 2023.
Athleta will also be opening its second Canadian location at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto. The Athleta press release for the Park Royal opening went on to clarify the brand was targeting a November opening for the Toronto location.
The former Nike space at Yorkdale Shopping Centre where Athleta is moving into measures about 4,800 square feet according to lease plans with a 34-foot frontage near the mall’s Hudson’s Bay store.