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Athleta Launches Wellness Platform To Grow Brand Loyalty

With consumers increasingly focused on health and wellness following a global pandemic, Athleta is launching a new health and wellness platform in a bid to increase loyalty as the athletic wear brand tries to double its value.

AthletaWell, which will be a part of the Athleta website, will include Spaces, where members will have access to curated topics centered around wellness, and Guides, where leaders in female well-being provide their perspectives, as well as online and offline activities led by guides, partners and VIP guests. Possible guests include gymnast Simone Biles, who left her partnership with Nike for Athleta earlier this year, and track and field athlete Allyson Felix, who has been partnered with the company since 2019.

“We’ve heard from our customers that wellbeing is a complex journey, rich with questions and there isn’t a place where women can talk about it holistically or discover the best solutions,” Kim Waldmann, chief digital officer at Athleta, said in a statement. With AthletaWell, Waldmann said, women will be able to help each other “navigate the complexities of modern-day womanhood” while connecting more closely to the Athleta brand.

Athleta is also partnering with digital fitness platform obé Fitness on apparel, content, events and “innovative shopping experiences.” The partnership will feature free access to exclusive obé Fitness workouts for AthletaWell members, with four new workouts launching each month. Athleta said it plans to pursue similar partnerships for premium content in the future.

The launch of AthletaWell brings the athleisure brand’s home workout offerings in line with competitor Nike, which has its Nike Training Club app, and Lululemon, which last year acquired in-home fitness company Mirror. The difference, however, is Athleta’s laser-focus on the female consumer and its price point — AthletaWell will be exclusively available to Athleta Rewards members and all content will be free.

To be sure, Athleta is now entering a very competitive space that is only getting tighter. The at-home fitness space is dominated by Peloton, but with the company hitting some bumps in recent months, Echelon, Beachbody and others have ramped up efforts to entice consumers, and other tech companies, such as Facebook and Apple, have shown interest in connected fitness.

Strategic Moves

AthletaWell is meant to build more loyalty to the Athleta brand as Gap Inc., which owns Athleta, tries to grow the athletic brand’s value to $2 billion by 2023, up from $1 billion in 2020, by focusing on the omnichannel nature of consumers and their comfortability in a digital ecosystem.

PYMNTS research has found that 92 percent of consumers have recently placed an online order and 68 percent track health data digitally. Additionally, 41 percent of consumers who are highly connected in health are also highly connected in shopping, and 46 percent are highly connected socially.

Gap Inc. last week streamlined its credit card and loyalty programs across all four of its brands in an attempt to simplify the consumer experience. Chief Digital and Technology Officer John Strain told PYMNTS that the shift came from a “consumer-curious” approach in which Gap surveyed and interviewed customers about nearly every detail of the program.

A single membership program with four branded expressions, Strain said, allows Gap to provide a “more holistic family of brands” that reinforce each other while not losing what makes each brand unique.

PYMNTS data shows that nearly 40 percent of consumers have used or would use a rewards program, and over 45 percent say that a rewards program is an important feature for a merchant to have.

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