Target to Phase Out C9 by Champion Line
Hanesbrands and Target are not renewing their contract for the exclusive C9 by Champion activewear line.
The contract expires on Jan. 31, 2020, and the 15-year-old brand will not be sold in stores past July of that year, according to various reports.
“The C9 by Champion program at Target is a mature program after 15 successful years,” said Gerald Evans, Hanesbrands chief executive, in a statement. “Overall, Champion has significant momentum in all geographies globally, and we will continue to focus on growth across our Champion portfolio through expanded geographic penetration, product lines and distribution channels, including online and retail.”
In the past 12 months, Hanesbrands generated approximately $380 million in C9 by Champion activewear sales, according to the manufacturer. In 2017, Target accounted for 13% of Hanesbrands’ total sales and 25% of the company’s activewear sales, according to the Star Tribune.
In an email to Retail Dive, Target underscored that the "transition is more than a year out. Additionally, this is a multiyear, broad strategy to reimagine our portfolio of owned and exclusive brands, and Target will continue to have a presence in the activewear and sporting goods categories after this change."
Hanesbrands and Target have had a long-running partnership, first launching C9 by Champion in 2004. Recently, however, Target has been focused on growing its private label assortment, promising in August 2017 to add more than 12 new brands over the next 18 months. Target has since launched various private labels including JoyLab, an activewear brand inspired by street fashion. The mass merchant also teamed with Iconix Brand Group's Umbro this year to stock an exclusive collection of kids soccer apparel, footwear and equipment.
“Both Target and Hanes are proud of [the C9] partnership and remain focused on providing a great experience during this time of transition,” Target said in a statement published by the Star Tribune. “Looking ahead, our guests can continue to count on Target when shopping for activewear and sporting goods, and we look forward to sharing more information about the addition of a new portfolio of performance brands soon.”