Athleta Expands REI Co-op Partnership
Athleta is joining a trend we’ve noticed of vertical retailers developing a wholesale strategy to extend their brand reach. The company announced Tuesday that it is expanding its relationship with REI Co-op and will now sell its performance and lifestyle apparel and accessories in 135 REI stores and online. Previously, REI had sold Athleta in five stores. Athleta believes the deal with REI will help it reach its goals of achieving $2 billion in sales by 2023, in addition to increasing brand awareness and gaining new customers.
Some other retailers are doing the same thing, including PacSun, which sells its namesake brand in Nordstrom, and Urban Outfitters, which is selling its BDG brand to other retailers as well. Urban Outfitters said its wholesale strategy generated $5 million in revenue in Q2.
REI will sell Athleta’s core lifestyle, hike and yoga bottoms as well as key tops and accessories. A quarter of REI stores and REI.com will also carry extended sizing options from size 0 to 26 in hiking and fitness apparel.
“We’re constantly looking at new ways to bring Athleta to more customers and meet her where she is, which is an important component of our growth strategy,” said Mary Beth Laughton, President and CEO, Athleta in a statement. “This expanded partnership with REI is an example of how we can extend our reach through a like-minded brand and empower a new community of active women consumers.”
To view the Athleta collection on REI’s website, visit rei.com/b/athleta