Lululemon to expand menswear

Tuesday, 22 April 2014
Lululemon Athletica, the Canadian fashion athletic brand, is hoping to quadruple its menswear sales as it develops further categories beyond yogawear. Laurent Potdevin, the retailer's new CEO, believes dedicating more men's space in stores with more product  will significantly  add to the company's growth over the next few years.

The strategy is to add new categories

The strategy would emulate its path in womenswear in which it is also adding new categories, such as lifestyle, running and biking.

The retailer thinks of its prototypical male customer, who it internally calls Duke, as “the mindful athlete," Felix del Toro, Lululemon's vp of design stated. Duke is “confident, well-rounded, happy" and “comfortable in his own skin," he said. He's not defined by a single sport but engages broadly in athletic endeavours, “pushing his boundaries" and seeking adventure.

Lululemon is developing versatile clothing that men can use for such activities as working out, eating out and travelling, del Toro said. “We're not providing him gear for his active life, we're providing him gear for his life, which is active. We call it sweat, post-sweat and no sweat.”

Separately, Potdevin said its Western European store rollout could be a “multibillion-dollar" sales opportunity. He said the international expansion has the potential to be a bigger business than Lululemon's operations in North America.

The CEO said he was also encouraged by sales at its new London store which opened within the last fortnight, beating sales projections by 60 percent. “There are many cities in which the question is not, ‘Will we have a store,' but ‘When will we have a store?'" he said.

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