A year after launch, Target's All in Motion activewear has reached more than $1 billion in sales, proving the retailer's timely investment in athleisurewear has paid off as people embraced more casual and comfortable clothing.

Target rolled out All in Motion last January to replace the C9 by Champion line that the retailer had carried for more than a decade.

"I think that All in Motion provided comfort and value at a time when our guests needed it most," said Jill Sando, chief merchandising officer for style and owned brands at Target.

With All in Motion, Target has gained market share in the activewear or sportswear industry by offering comfortable and affordable options that can be 75% cheaper than high-end brands, Sando said.

"The performance is on par with what you would find in a premium brand, and it is affordable for our guests in a time when money matters," she said.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the apparel sector has suffered as many people spend more time at home and not shopping as much for new clothes.

During its third fiscal quarter, Target's apparel sales grew by nearly 10%, well behind other categories such as electronics and home items. But when buying, customers have gravitated toward sleepwear and activewear during the pandemic, Sando said.

The brand, developed by Target's in-house designers, is the Minneapolis retailer's only private label to include apparel for women, men and kids. It is available in plus sizes and also includes workout equipment and accessories.

Across All in Motion's collection, cozy fleece tops and bottoms have been popular, as well as leggings for women and girls, tops for men, and tops and joggers for boys.

Since its inception, Target has focused on using soft and durable fabrics that are moisture wicking, water resistant and stretchy. Many items are made with recycled polyester or sustainably sourced cotton.

Last month, Target expanded All in Motion's line to introduce a seamless collection to improve comfort.

Similar to what it has done in designing other in-house brands, Target solicited feedback and ran numerous performance tests, Sando said.

Target currently offers more than 45 owned brands. Ten owned brands have sales of $1 billion a year — with four brands, including the Good & Gather grocery and Cat & Jack children's clothing lines, delivering at least $2 billion.

Celebrity brand partnerships have been drivers in other store departments such as home decor, where Target recently launched updated spring collections for Studio McGee and Joanna Gaines' Hearth and Hand with Magnolia.

But Sando said she wasn't sure what role they would play for All in Motion, though she left the possibility open.

Target's returns exceeded activewear industry growth and helped the retailer gain market share, the company said.

Premium brand Lululemon reported revenue increased 22% to $1.1 billion in the third quarter that ended at the beginning of November. Kohl's is launching its own athleisure brand FLX this year.

Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495

Twitter: @nicolenorfleet