Gap grows Athleta Girl as Lululemon’s kids’ business slims down


After launching in 2016, Gap’s athleisure brand for young girls has grown little by little, supported by pop-up events and activities for parents.

“[Athleta Girl] stands a chance and will be aided by the fact that Lululemon has pulled back from its Ivivva girls concept,” GlobalData Retail Managing Director Neil Saunders told CNBC in an interview. “Having an offer integrated into the main Athleta store is more viable than operating stand-alone stores.”

That being said, there appears to be less consumer interest in athleisure among young girls than among adults, Saunders added. “There is also more price sensitivity.”

Lululemon and Athleta are both known for their steeper prices, especially when compared with a player such as Target, which has its own cost-conscious, athletic line for kids, or even Gap’s own Old Navy stores, which also sell athletic wear.

Through Athleta Girl, most tights and pants sell in the $49 to $59 range. Jackets could go for as much as $98 apiece, and t-shirts are closer to $30.

“I think it’s worth investing in quality brands,” Betina Baumgarten, the mother of an 8-year-old daughter and the founder of a personal styling business, told CNBC in an interview. “This is not something that falls apart. To me, that’s worth it.”

Baumgarten and her daughter are frequent Athleta shoppers, most recently attending a fashion show together that was hosted by Athleta Girl. “It’s a joyful experience to be able to go shopping with my daughter,” she said. “It spoils the mom, and it makes the daughter feel great.”

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