Target Takes a Swing at Sportswear

Target Takes a Swing at Sportswear

Target has announced they are launching an activewear store based on their success with C9 by Champion.  This marks the chain's first spin-off retail store.  

The 3,000-square-foot C9 store is set to open on Oct. 14 in in San Francisco's Metreon Shopping Center, where a 100,000 square foot CityTarget (the discounter's urban format) will also debut. Interestingly, C9 won't bear the Target name, nor feature the iconic Bullseye logo.

Target is trying their hand at the growing market of athleticwear with C9, which has been one of their most popular brands.  Currently, the leaders in this niche market are Lululemon Athletica and Gap's Athleta chain

This new store will offer a variety of athletic apparel for both men and women, including running shorts, yoga pants and sports bras.  It will also carry accessories like yoga mats and water bottles.  While pricing information for the new store isn't available yet, items in the C9 by Champion line at Target currently retail for under $50, with most items being around $30.

"Target has obviously paid attention to the success of specialty retailers like Lululemon and Athleta, and the same concept at mass price points could be a winner," said Richard Seesel, a principal at Retailing in Focus LLC, in an online forum about C9 on RetailWire. 

The store's boutique size "also follows the trend of 'smaller is better' relative to the massive scale of sporting goods stores like Dick's and The Sports Authority, where fitness-wear is a small part of the assortment," he said. C9 "has a lot of growth opportunity across the country." 

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Rachel Stone