LAS VEGAS, May 24, 2011 – Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) today announced that Athleta, its women’s sports and active apparel brand, has been awarded the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) 2011 Hot Retailer Award, an award that recognizes innovative retail concepts that drive consumers into shopping centers around the world.
Based on a survey of over 55,000 ICSC’s members worldwide, Athleta was chosen as one of the “hottest” retail concepts for 2011. Today, Scott Key, senior vice president and general manager of Athleta, received the award at ICSC’s global retail real estate convention, RECon, in Las Vegas, Nevada during a presentation hosted by actor and fashion designer, Carson Kressley.
Athleta, a division of Gap Inc., offers women's active lifestyle apparel for yoga, running, swim, gym, hiking and skiing – designed by and for female athletes – as well as an array of other products for everyday pursuits.
Realizing the tremendous business opportunity of the rapidly growing $31 billion women’s sports and active wear market, the company formally expanded its catalogue and online business to brick and mortar in 2011. Based on strong customer response, the company is expected to open two additional stores in New York City this summer, with the goal of opening 50 stores across North America by 2013.
"We're thrilled to be recognized by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) as one of this year’s ‘Hot Retailers,” said Scott Key.
“We’re committed to bringing our customers what they want – vibrant store environments that provide a place to build a community and purchase a wide selection of product they can wear straight from a morning run to dropping the kids off at school to getting coffee with a friend – all in the same outfit.”
“Every year ICSC awards retailers that create unique and exciting shopping experiences that bring consumers into shopping centers around the world,” said Michael P. Kercheval, ICSC’s president and CEO. “These retailers provide outstanding products and services thereby contributing to the overall success of the shopping centers that have them as tenants. ICSC is pleased to add Athleta to its list of ‘Hot Retailers’ and spotlight them during RECon.”
Gap Inc. acquired Athleta Inc., in September 2008 making it the fifth brand on Gap Inc Direct’s universality platform alongside Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Piperlime. Founded 12 years ago, Athleta has evolved into a premier lifestyle brand, offering high quality apparel that’s stylish and functional. Athleta has built strong brand loyalty among its customers through its inspirational catalogs and website.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than those that are purely historical are forward-looking statements. Words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “project,” and similar expressions also identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding plans for future Athleta stores in New York and across North America.
Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause the company’s actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. These factors include, without limitation, the following:
· The risk that changes in general economic conditions or consumer spending patterns will have a negative impact on the company’s strategies;
· the highly competitive nature of the company’s business in the United States and internationally;
· The risk that the company will be unsuccessful in gauging fashion trends and changing consumer preferences;
· The risk that the company will be unsuccessful in identifying, negotiating, and securing new store locations effectively;
· The risk that the company will be unsuccessful in implementing its strategic, operating and people initiatives;
· The risk that changes in the company’s credit profile or deterioration in market conditions may limit its access to the capital markets;
· The risk that updates or changes to the company’s information technology (“IT”) systems may disrupt its operations;
· The risk that acts or omissions by the company’s third-party vendors, including a failure to comply with the company’s code of vendor conduct, could have a negative impact on its reputation or operations;
· The risk that the company will not be successful in defending various proceedings, lawsuits, disputes, claims, and audits, any of which could impact net sales, expenses, and/or planned strategies; and
· The risk that changes in the regulatory or administrative landscape could adversely affect the company’s financial condition and results of operations.
Additional information regarding factors that could cause results to differ can be found in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 29, 2011.
These forward-looking statements are based on information as of May 24, 2011. The company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that any projected results expressed or implied therein will not be realized.
Athleta was founded in 1998 with the mission of providing women athletes with apparel for different sports and fitness activities. The company has become one of the premier brands in the rapidly growing women’s sports and active apparel markets. Athleta offers high quality, stylish, and functional apparel, footwear and accessories, 90 percent of which is proprietary branded, across a wide variety of sports and fitness activities, including a high component of crossover apparel as well as casual wear. Athleta sells its products through catalogs and its website, www.athleta.com. The company is headquartered in Petaluma, CA, and has nearly 200 employees. Athleta was acquired by Gap Inc. in September 2008 and is part of the Gap Inc. Direct division.
About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading global specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, and Athleta brands. Fiscal year 2010 net sales were $14.7 billion. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase in over 90 countries worldwide through about 3,100 company-operated stores, about 175 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.
Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 55,000 members in over 90 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials. As the global industry trade association, ICSC links with more than 25 national and regional shopping center councils throughout the world. For more information, visit www.icsc.org.