For many years, Athletic Works was an exclusive brand of workout clothes and outerwear sold at Walmart. The line was discontinued in 2010, but it continues to be available via resale. Businessman Sam Walton purchased a stake in the chain of Ben Franklin Stores in the 1940s and quickly found success owning his own franchises. In 1962, Walton went out on his own and opened a store called Walmart Discount City in Rogers, Arkansas. Within just five years, Walmart had expended to more than 20 stores across the state and started to branch out into other markets.
After going public in 1970, expansion picked up at an even faster pace. Walmart became the largest retailer by revenue in the country by 1990 and had opened stores in all 50 states by 1995. Today, the chain is the world's largest private employer and the largest company on Earth by revenue. With more than 11,000 stores in 27 countries, Walmart operates under 55 different names across the globe. The retailer is still family-owned by the Waltons, who maintain more than 50 percent of shares. Walmart strikes a balance between selling major name brands and creating its own exclusive brands like Athletic Works.
Babies & Kids Merchandise
When Athletic Works was still being manufactured, the brand featured clothing for babies, toddlers, kids, and adults. As the name indicates, athletic wear was a major component of the line. You could find workout pants, sweatsuits, tracksuits, athletic shorts, tees, and sweatshirts for very young children. The brand also had a heavy focus on outerwear, including hooded sweatshirts, light jackets, heavy coats, snow pants and snowsuits. Additionally, Athletic Works manufactured little sneakers for infants and toddlers.
In sizes for slightly older children, Athletic Works emphasized short- and long-sleeved graphic tees as well as tanks and hoodies. Moisture-wicking shorts and t-shirts provided great options for kids to wear during sporting events. Track jackets and fleeces were the hallmarks of the line's selection of kids' outerwear, and some heavier coats were available as well. The brand's main niche was always women's sizes, and you could find a range of clothes for older kids and teens. Always rather basic instead of being particularly stylish, form and function were the main purposes of the Athletic Works brand. Clothes like exercise pants, capris, shorts, t-shirts, tanks, and running shoes provided everything you would need for an active trip to the gym.
Walmart's exclusive brand of active wear was very popular during its heyday, and many people still mourn the loss of Athletic Works now that the retailer has completely discontinued it. One plus when it comes to Athletic Works, however, is that clothes were designed in a very classic style. There's no need to worry about whether these clothes will still be trendy if you decide to buy them via resale because their basic patterns are truly timeless. Athletic Works clothes are also built to last (essential when designing a brand that has to stand up to heavy physical activity), so you should have no problem continuing to use older apparel for you or your child. We give the Athletic Works brand 4 out of 5 stars.
- Established 1962 (Walmart)
- Activewear and outerwear for all ages
- Sold at:
- Walmart stores and online
- Types of items:
- Workout shirts, tanks, tees, running shorts, pants, tracksuits, track jackets, capris, running shoes, hoodies, sweatshirts, coats, underwear, socks
- Related brands:
- Simply Basic, Baby George, Faded Glory, No Boundaries