Monday, November 11, 2013

Athleta Lands in Lenox Square

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.


AJ said...

I am a man who does not buy women's yoga clothing, so I'm not sure how busy (or un-busy) Athleta is in Atlantic Station. What's your basis for the "foolishly" comment? Is the store not doing well or just general Atlantic Station bias?

Atlantan99 said...


Atlantic Station does not now, nor will it likely ever have the demographics needed to make the Athleta store a success. White Provision (where lululemon is located) does provide perfect demographics for a successful business selling premium yoga and other athletic apparel.

You call it bias, I call it the truth.

Thanks as always for your comments and readership.

Anonymous said...

In other words, black people don't buy high-end yoga stuff.

Anonymous said...

Atlantic Station is less that 1.5 MILES from White Provisions. Explain how the "demographic" is any different. You make most completely absurd comments regarding that place.

Anonymous said...

Atlantic station just doesn't seem to have the traffic needed to make any of these retail stores work. I was recently at West Elm for the first time, and the young women working there told me they really hoped the store would move to Buckhead or somewhere else, as they just don't get enough customers. I don't know if that's true, but they really seemed to feel that way. I agree, it's not bias, it's truth...

Midtown Malcolm said...

Go in H&M on a Saturday afternoon at Atlantic Station and tell me that there isn't the foot traffic to make a store successful.

Also I noticed that American Apparel is opening a new store at Atlantic Station.....surprised that wasn't reported on here?! ;)

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon RE: Proximity,

There may be only 1.5 miles separating WP from AS but there is a world of difference in the tenant mix and demographics. White Provision attracted upper end tenants and in turn attracts higher dollar spenders. Atlantic Station, stocked with the typical retailers found in any other mall, attracts those of college age and those stuck working at AS. At the end of the day, WP just did a better job at creating a destination and cultivating a unique tenant mix to attract affluent shoppers.

Thanks as always for your comments and readership.

Atlantan99 said...

@Midtown Malcolm,

The traffic at H&M alone is not gonna make an entire project successful nor will traffic there translate into sales at other stores that sell higher priced goods.

American Apparel opening at Atlantic Station is news to me and I will have a post up shortly to share this news. Perhaps you would like to be a site contributor for Midtown? ;)

Thanks for your comments and readership.

Midtown Malcolm said...

I'd love to be a site contributor for Midtown!

I'll keep my eyes peeled for more openings/closings

Anonymous said...

I have no idea how Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Express, and West Elm have stayed open. People of the AS demographic wouldn't touch those stores.

Anonymous said...

In the last year I have noticed a change in the demographic at Atlantic Station. We had brunch at Chick a Biddy last Sunday and the crowd looked like a pretty good match for the retail there.