Target's new activewear brand generated $1 billion in just one year, cashing in on Americans' pandemic-driven shift to athleisure

TargetA model wears athleticwear from Target’s All in Motion brand.
  • Target’s All in Motion athleticwear brand hit $US1 billion in sales one year after launching.
  • The brand captured the work-from-home market, but is also reasonably priced at under $US30.
  • All in Motion reached $US1 billion in sales quicker than its pricier peers, Lululemon and Athleta.
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About a year after launching, Target’s in-house athleticwear brand has hit $US1 billion in sales, a result of shoppers’ pandemic-induced move to stretchy, comfortable clothes.

The brand, called All in Motion, is one of 10 Target brands out of over 30 that reached at least $US1 billion in sales for the fiscal year 2020. Jill Sando, chief merchandising officer for style and owned brands at Target, told CNBC’s Melissa Repko that the company jokes internally the line has become “guests’ favourite work wear, not just workout wear.”

The pandemic has been spurring demand for comfortable, functional clothing since early last year. From March to July 2020, sales of shorts, sweatpants, and sports bras were on the rise, despite overall apparel sales dropping 34%. Companies like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein parent company PVH, and Athleta, the athleisure label owned by Gap, all reported strong demand for athletic attire during the second quarter of 2020, CNN reported.

Insider’s Sydney Bradley reported last September that activewear brands were also spiking on social media: According to data from Traackr, the number of influencers mentioning activewear brands rose 101% in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period the year prior. Posts about athletic attire were up 63% in the same period.

Read more:
Athleta CEO reveals plan to turn 2 million new customers into brand loyalists after the activewear company pivoted to selling masks during the pandemic

While Target’s brand may have launched at the perfect time to capture the work-from-home market, the company also attributed the success of All in Motion to its mass-market appeal: The brand features a variety of sizes and body types in its advertising, and most of the product line — which includes workout clothes and accessories for men, women, and children — costs less than $US30, Sando told CNBC.

Brands like Lululemon, for instance, offer leggings for as much as $US128 and sports bras that cost about $US100. Leggings from Gap-owned Athleta retail for around $US100, while sports bras can cost about $US70.

All in Motion reached $US1 billion in sales at a much more rapid pace than its peers. Lululemon was founded in 1998, went public in 2007, and reached $US1 billion in sales for the first time in the year ending January 2012. Athleta was acquired by Gap in 2008, and while Gap doesn’t break out sales figures for the brand, Forbes reported in September 2019 that the brand was close to hitting $US1 billion in sales.

Target noted in a blog post about All in Motion’s anniversary that it wasn’t just athleisure that sold well in 2020 — the brand’s fitness accessories were a success as well: last year, Target sold 21 million pounds of All in Motion hand weights and kettlebells and 7 million square feet of yoga mats.

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