Athleta, the women’s sports apparel retailer, was named one of the four hottest retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) alongside Smashburger, Aldi and Fossil.

The Hot Retailer Awards were presented at ICSCs global retail real estate convention, RECon, on Tuesday May 24, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada during a presentation hosted by actor and fashion designer, Carson Kressley.

Every year ICSC recognizes retailers that create unique and exciting shopping experiences that draw consumers into shopping centers around the world, said Michael P. Kercheval, ICSCs president and CEO. These retailers provide outstanding products and services thereby contributing to the overall success of the shopping centers that have them as tenants. ICSC is pleased to add these four retailers to its list of ‘Hot Retailers and spotlight them during RECon.

Athleta was founded with the mission of providing women athletes with apparel for different sports and fitness activities. The company has become one of the premier brands in the rapidly growing womens sports and active apparel markets. Athleta offers high quality, stylish, and functional apparel, footwear and accessories, 90 percent of which is proprietary branded, across a wide variety of sports and fitness activities, including a high component of crossover apparel as well as casual wear. Athleta sells its products in stores, catalogs and via its website. The company is headquartered in Petaluma, CA, and has nearly 200 employees. Athleta was acquired by Gap Inc. in September 2008 and is part of the Gap Inc. Division.