Athleta is opening a new store in Lenox Square.
San Francisco-based Athleta will open its second Atlanta area store in Buckhead's Lenox Square. Athleta sells yoga related apparel for women and foolishly opened their first Atlanta area store at Atlantic Station last year. Athleta started as an online only retailer in 1998, and was acquired by Gap Inc. for $150M in 2008.
As of now, Athleta offers apparel for women only, but given that lululemon started that way but has since added men's, I'd expect Athleta to follow suit at some point.
Gap opened the first bricks & mortar Athleta store in San Francisco in 2011, and today has about 60 locations in 26 states plus Washington D.C. By comparison, Vancouver-based lululemon athletica, the market leader when it comes to yoga related apparel, has over 215 locations in 43 states plus Washington D.C. as well as nearly 50 stores in Canada. Lululemon has been expanding internationally as well, with new showrooms and retail stores in China, Singapore, Germany, Great Britain and a handful of other countries.
There was talk and even a permit filed with the city of Atlanta for an Athleta store at the Shops Around Lenox earlier this year but alas, after months of silence, those plans seem dead. The store was reportedly going to replace a portion of Roche Bobois, which was reportedly downsizing its store. Now, Roche Bobois is moving, but is relocating to Buckhead Avenue and to a space reportedly larger than their current store. (lululemon has an existing and successful store in Shops Around Lenox)
Athleta's Lenox Square store will open in a portion of the former Nike store on the mall's upper level. Nike closed this store last month when it opened its new, two-level, million dollar store at the front of the mall. Men's retailer Bachrach, riding a wave of resurgence, is taking the remaining portion of the former Nike.
Given the unique nature of the Nike store, with such large glass and wood installations, I highly doubt either Bachrach or Athleta could possibly open in time for the holiday shopping season, with both buildouts likely to take a few months. I'd expect for both stores to open sometime late in the first quarter of next year.