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09/28/2022

Athleta partners with ThredUp, Simon in omnichannel ventures

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Athleta
Athleta is expanding its omnichannel horizons.

Athleta is diving deeper into resale.

The women’s athletic apparel brand, a division of Gap Inc., is entering into a new resale partnership with ThredUp, and also opening an online storefront with Shop Premium Outlets. Athleta says it intends both partnerships to deliver new value to customers shopping in stores and online. Following are overviews of each collaboration.

Athleta pilots “preloved” shopping experience with ThredUp
Athleta’s first-ever resale platform, “Always Athleta,” is a new “360-resale” program enabled by ThredUp’s Resale-as-a-Service (RaaS) offering, which delivers scalable, customizable resale offerings for retailers. Starting Wednesday, Sep. 28, a limited group of randomly selected customers will receive access to the pilot platform when visiting the Athleta e-commerce site.

Select customers can choose “Preloved” from the website’s navigation bar to be directed to the “Always Athleta” platform, where they can shop a range of used Athleta products up to 90% off estimated retail price.

Athleta has been partnering with ThredUp since February 2020, as part of a wider collaboration between ThredUp and Gap Inc. As part of Athleta’s in-store Clean Out program, customers can obtain ThredUp “Clean Out” kits that enable them to clean out their closets of unwanted, good-quality used items for consignment sale on ThredUp, with free shipping. If any of the items are selected for resalecustomers receive Athleta shopping credit.

Athleta plans to leverage the new RaaS platform as a “test-and-learn” opportunity to better understand customer purchasing behavior and attract new customers to the brand.

“As a certified B Corporation, Athleta believes in using business as a force of good,” said Kim Waldmann, chief digital officer at Athleta. “The launch of our first-ever resale pilot, ‘Always Athleta,’ marks a major milestone toward our vision for a more sustainable future. We’re thrilled to partner with ThredUp on this innovative platform that invites consumers to make a positive environmental impact without compromising on performance or style.”

“As an early adopter of resale, Athleta started its journey with a Clean Out program more than two years ago. This program has built phenomenal customer engagement with circularity and helped introduce thousands of new customers to the Athleta brand,” said James Reinhart, CEO of ThredUp. “We’re proud to see the successful results of their initial program and look forward to supporting the company as it continues to innovate and advance its sustainability initiatives with resale.”

Athleta launches omnichannel collaboration with Shop Premium Outlets
Following the launch of its new outlet store format this year, Athleta is teaming up with Shop Premium Outlets, a joint online venture between Simon and Rue Gilt Groupe. Starting in early October 2022, customers can shop a curated assortment of Athleta products via the retailer’s dedicated online outlet storefront on ShopPremiumOutlets.com.

[Read more: Simon to invest $280 million in online sales partnership]

Athleta is also opening its first-ever physical outlet stores this year, as part of a wider plan to open 30 to 40 new brick-and-mortar stores in 2022.

“Expanding our customer base is critical to our long-term growth, and we’re always looking for new avenues to introduce women to our brand and products,” said Athleta chief digital officer Kim Waldmann. “Investing in new digital collaborations with companies like Shop Premium Outlets serves as a customer acquisition and loyalty driver, introducing her to our versatile performance and performance lifestyle product.”

“At Shop Premium Outlets, we connect our customers to the brands they love in one, convenient online marketplace,” said Neel Grover, CEO, Shop Premium Outlets. “We’re thrilled to team up with Athleta to digitize their outlet experience and offer a curation of their most-loved styles at incredible prices.”

Based in San Francisco and a Gap Inc. brand, Athleta apparel is available at its more than 235 retail stores across the United States and Canada, through its catalog, and at Athleta.com.