Gap, the largest US clothing retailer, has announced the launch of the first retail store for its Hill City brand.
Monostore received its first customers in Gap's hometown of San Francisco. Pop-up store with an area of 46.5 square meters, in the Hayes Valley area on Octavia Street, surrounded by a large number of fashion brands, will be open for 12 months, the company said. The retail space features hoodies, T-shirts, jackets and shorts for sports – about 80 items in total. The average cost of clothing items is $80-100.
The store launch is part of the brand's strategy to shift from online to physical retail under pressure from Amazon. While testing Hill City's first physical store, Gap is considering expanding the brand's sales across multiple channels.
The Hill City brand was introduced in autumn 2018. It is a premium menswear and accessories brand in the growing athleisure segment, which combines fashion for sports and casual wear. The brand itself positions itself as "the contact of outdoor with urban life."
One of the goals of the first retail store in San Francisco, the company sees the involvement of the fashion community through the participation of the brand in local events. Gap will also explore third-party partnerships, with selected items from the Hill City collections available to shoppers on Huckberry.com, Neighborhood Goods, and other sites.
Another distribution channel for Hill City's products will be the newly introduced "shop in a truck" that will cruise the streets of San Francisco. This format will test the ability of customers to personally touch, feel and purchase new brand products in convenient locations. The branded Hill City van will take part in street fairs and races, as well as serve as a mobile advertisement for the brand.
In addition, the special Hill City capsule collection will be available in seven stores under Gap's Athleta brand, which specializes in women's tech clothing for yoga and sports. An experiment on the introduction of new brand products in stores started in 2018 and was considered a success. Many market participants are calling Hill City the "men's version" of Athleta, noting its launch as a response to the fast-growing menswear business under management. Lululemon Athletic Inc. Coresight Research estimates that the menswear activewear market is valued at $$88 billion today, with leading sportswear brands Nike and Adidas remaining leaders.