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Gap’s Athleta Moves Into ‘Experiential Fitness’ Space


Gap-owned women’s fitness apparel brand Athleta is launching an “experiential fitness series.”

Move with Athleta,” invites women to “sweat, connect and celebrate the Power of She” at a series of public events in New York City next week, according to a Thursday (Nov. 9) press release.

“Athleta is entering a new era and bringing exciting new product, innovation and community experiences to our customers across North America,” Athleta President and CEO Chris Blakeslee said in the release. “Our customer is at the center of everything we do, and as we underscore Athleta’s position at the intersection of style, fitness and wellness, we’re proud to launch the Move with Athleta series to inspire all facets of her active lifestyle.”

Move with Athleta kicks off Nov. 16 with a series of “immersive brand experiences” across New York City.

For example, the company is hosting a series of private classes with celebrity fitness and wellbeing influencers, “who share Athleta’s mission to empower women through movement,” per the release. Such influencers include Parvati Shallow, certified yoga instructor and “Survivor” winner, and Hannah Douglass and Lisa Sainvil, both professional and Renaissance Tour dancers.

Althea said in the release the program will continue across the country next year, with stops in Los Angeles, Miami, Boston and San Francisco.

The announcement comes a little more than a month after Peloton and Lululemon forged a five-year strategic global partnership designed to bring together fitness content and athletic apparel and create a combined 20-million-member community.

PYMNTS explored the partnership, noting that the new agreement shows promise. But so too did Lululemon’s acquisition of the fitness device Mirror. And Peloton made major strides during the pandemic.

However, Lululemon ultimately laid off the employees operating Mirror. And Peloton has faced its own hurdles of late.

These developments “in the fitness sector highlight the intricate nature of the fitness-as-a-service model,” PYMNTS wrote. “While the demand for at-home fitness solutions is there, achieving success in this field comes with challenges stemming from competition, technological hurdles and shifting consumer preferences.”

In this context, the narrative surrounding Lululemon’s purchase of Mirror and the roadblocks faced by Peloton provide insights into this evolving industry, spotlighting the importance of innovation and adaptability in ensuring sustained success.

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