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Lululemon plans abroad growth as yogawear booms


Lululemon, whose upmarket leggings and sweatpants have taken prosperous North Individuals by storm, is eyeing plans to greater than triple the proportion of revenues from abroad in an intensified world branding push in nations from the UK to Japan.

In distinction to different clothes corporations hit exhausting by the coronavirus disaster, Lululemon’s market capitalisation has swelled to $50bn this 12 months on the again of upper demand from housebound shoppers for athleisurewear — objects worn casually in addition to for train.

As some on Wall Road query whether or not the yogawear model — sported by celebrities together with Meghan Markle — has peaked within the US and Canada, Lululemon is increasing abroad and in addition into new merchandise.

The Vancouver-based firm generated solely 14 per cent of its $1.1bn internet revenues from different nations within the three months to November 1. “There’s no purpose why that may’t be 50/50 within the years to come back,” Calvin McDonald, chief govt, advised the Monetary Occasions.

If the ambition was realised, it could broaden Lululemon’s worldwide presence considerably past its publicly disclosed goal, which is to generate $1.44bn in annual gross sales from abroad by 2023.

Lululemon, which spent $500m in the summertime buying Mirror, an train tools start-up, can be looking for to extend its recognition amongst males.

“A big share of them are usually not conscious of Lululemon, or if they’re they consider it as a feminine yoga model,” Mr McDonald mentioned, including that Lululemon was “broader than simply yoga”.

“We’ve advanced away from that for a few years.”

Chief govt Calvin McDonald needs to persuade males that Lululemon is not only a yogawear model for girls © Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty

The corporate, recognized for its leggings that promote for about $120 every, goals to double its menswear revenues to $1.4bn between 2018 and 2023.

Menswear had outperformed for Lululemon abroad, the place the model didn’t have the identical gender associations, Mr McDonald mentioned.

On-line yoga lessons and digital exercise periods have helped gasoline demand for Lululemon equipment through the pandemic. Ecommerce gross sales accounted for about 43 per cent of the group whole within the three months ended November 1.

But Lululemon can be increasing in bricks and mortar at a time when different retailers are closing shops. Mr McDonald disclosed that the corporate, which is about to open about 30 to 35 new shops globally this 12 months, deliberate the same quantity in 2021.

The chief govt mentioned Lululemon was looking for to construct on its presence in China, the place it has 50 shops, in addition to increasing in Japan, South Korea and Australia.

Germany was a “important continuous progress alternative for us”, as was the UK, the place Lululemon competes with Sweaty Betty and has 16 shops from Glasgow to Tub. “We’ll be opportunistic, each by way of areas and growth of current shops, in London and outdoors,” Mr McDonald mentioned.

About 140 of Lululemon’s 515 company-operated shops are exterior North America.

André Maestrini, who joins within the new 12 months from Adidas, will spearhead the worldwide push. Nikki Neuburger, employed as chief model officer this 12 months, can be making consciousness of Lululemon abroad a precedence.

Within the meantime, Lululemon is dealing with a resurgence in coronavirus circumstances in a number of markets.

The corporate’s gross sales dipped on the onset of the pandemic, when all of its shops in North America and Europe have been compelled to shut. Most of its retail areas have been open, though the corporate has needed to shut some retailers once more quickly. Toronto and London have been among the many explicit coronavirus hotspots, Mr McDonald mentioned.


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