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Gap buys into lifestyle market

Gap is to buy the US women’s activewear mail order business Athleta for around US$150 million (£80.9m) in a bid to enhance its online sales.

Gap said the acquisition would bolster its position in the growing US$31 billion (£16.7bn) women’s active apparel sector in the US.

Athleta will join the group’s online platform enabling shoppers to buy across the company’s Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Piperlime brands using a single checkout.
It is unclear whether Gap will open Athleta standalones or introduce Athleta product in its other bricks-and-mortar chains.

This week reports estimated Athleta has sales of US$100m (£53.7m). Gap confirmed the business was profitable.

The deal will surprise many as Gap has struggled to halt sales declines in its core chain, at Banana Republic and Old Navy.

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