Lululemon Athletica Inc.
April 11, 2019
Part One: Introduction
Lululemon, founded by Chip Wilson in Vancouver in 1998, is a yoga-inspired, technical apparel company for both men and women. Lululemon started as a design studio by day and yoga studio by night, eventually transitioning into a standalone store in Vancouver’s Kitsilano district in November of 2000 (“History of Lululemon”, n.d.). The original intention of the flagship store was not to create a multi-billion dollar apparel company, but rather to give local residents a hub to live a healthy lifestyle and gather as a yoga community (“History of Lululemon“, n.d.). Since starting in 1998, Lululemon has grown into a worldwide enterprise, possessing a multitude of stores across the globe. What started with producing yoga apparel for women has transitioned into now producing apparel for a much broader scope of consumers with apparel for both men and women covering many more activities such as running, cycling, training, and other sports. Lulu’s mission is to “empower people to reach their full potential through providing the right tools and resources, and encouraging a culture of leadership, goal setting and personal responsibility” (“History of Lululemon”, n.d.). The company also holds true to their core values of “quality, product, integrity, balance, entrepreneurship, greatness and fun” (“History of Lululemon”, n.d.), with the hope of creating a positive culture around the brand and their stores around the globe.
Lulu has been hugely successful in the yoga apparel industry, being a primary seller with predominantly no competition, thus allowing them to charge premium prices. Jane Hali & Associates analyst Jessica Ramirez said this of the market Lulu is operating in: “Lulu captured the women’s market, that’s where they started with yoga wear being their staple. Now they’ve evolved some of that collection into everyday-wear and that’s been really successful for them” (Sarkar, Kumar, 2019). Originally targeting the female yoga culture, Lulu has moved into new territory in putting more of a focus on menswear and leisure/athletic wear in the future. The new consumer territory also means new competition for Lulu, who is now going up against industry giants like Nike and Adidas with their non-yoga athletic apparel. Allen Adamson, co-founder of marketing consultancy firm Metaforce, said that Lululemon’s expansion into menswear and fitness will add to headaches for Nike and Adidas, already in a harsh war over market share in their core markets, “They play in the same neighbourhood but not on the same block,” he said. “Lululemon has one foot in the fashion world and one foot in athletics while Nike has both feet in athletics” (Sarkar, Kumar, 2019). When asked about the future of the company, Chief Operating Officer Stuart Haselden commented: “We really believe that Lululemon can be a dual-gender brand, and that our men’s business can...