The brand opened in a 8,734 square foot Level Two, Phase II location that was formerly Abercrombie & Fitch.
Athleta expanded into the Canadian market with the launch of an ecommerce platform in August 2021 before opening the first company-operated stores outside of the US at Park Royal Shopping Centre in West Vancouver and in Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
The brand shared with Retail Insider during a June 2022 interview that the Canadian market would see five new locations by the end of the year with a continued expansion of stores coming in 2023.
“The addition of five new stores this year is an extension of our entry strategy and launch success. Athleta’s Canadian business is a key contributor to long-term growth, and we believe our store fleet growth strategy will get us there as we see Canadians return to in-store shopping,” said Jenelle Sheridan, VP and GM Athleta Canada.
“We have learned a lot about the Canadian customer since launch – including where our online demand is coming from as well as what she is most interested in from our brand. We’ve leveraged these insights, combined with the 30+ years of experience our sister brands (Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic) have operating in the Canadian market, to help inform our location selection for these five new stores in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia.”
“We’re committed to growing our Canada business, including opening additional new stores in the market in 2023. We have a plan to expand our brand steadily throughout the country from coast to coast,” added Sheridan.
The future expansion will include CF Toronto Eaton Centre, taking over the former Massimo Dutti store, which shuttered this past fall. Massimo Dutti also shuttered its First Canadian Place location, leaving Yorkdale as the remaining Canadian location.
Retail Insider will continue to follow the expansion of Athleta as it grows throughout the Canadian market.