Sep 13, 2019 Under Armour aggressively commits to an anti-athleisure lifestyle Read More Under Armour hates brunch... Not really (but kind of). The house-protecting brand has decided to commit to what it does best: "Technical Apparel." Under Armour is doubling down on non-casual gear and its leaders made it clear on CNBC:
CEO/Baltimore-legend Kevin Plank: "It's all performance."
COO: Under Armour is "becoming a louder brand." Point taken.
This is purely anti-Lulu... On our Snacks team's unofficial "apparel spectrum," here's where Under Armour falls:
"Leisure" (one extreme): Chill apparel brands from Vans to Sperry. Nothing athletic about it. Under Armour has no interest.
"Athleisure" (the middle): The $350B global market is dabbled in by Nike, but dominated by Lululemon. Under Armour doesn't want to fight for market share from the existing leaders.
"Technical Performance Apparel" (the other extreme): Under Armour wants to own this — the more high-performing and intense it gets, the more UA separates itself from Nike, Outdoor Voices...and Lulu.The Takeaway:But UA does love Lulu's brand moves... Under Armour also announced it's doubling its physical stores to 2.5K by 2023 — and they won't discount. Currently, a shocking 90% of its locations are outlet stores. Under Armour is jealous that Lulu controls its own locations — that lets it maintain a full-price, discount-free, premium brand status. Apr 25, 2019 Lululemon reveals 5-year plan: sneakers, shampoo, "sweatlife" Read More No time for shavasana... Lululemon was busy revealing its 5-year strategic plan, heroically christened “The Power of Three.” It began with a humble brag ("we've already delivered on several 2020 goals") and then focused on three big new ones — two are huge, one is surprising:
"Product innovation": Lulu's designing its own sneakers this year and expanding its khaki-infused office/travel/commute wear.
"Market expansion": Double its men's business (see khaki reference above), double online sales, and quadruple international sales. Ambitious.
"Omniguest experience": This one intrigued us. More below.
"Sweatlife" is why you athleisure... Lulu's calling us "guests" instead of customers. The omniguest element of its master plan is about transforming beyond stretchy cloth into “an experiential brand for people living the sweatlife.” Sweatlife looks like this:
Lulu shampoo, deodorant, moisturizer, and other self-care bathroom shelf-stuffers through partnerships (SoulCyle is partner #1).
A new 25K-square-foot mega-store in Chicago with meditation space, yoga studios, and a juice bar. It's so big you'll lose yourself (and then find yourself).The Takeaway:It all comes down to sales channels... Lululemon owns them. Yes, you can find its high-rise yoga leggings on Amazon. But Lulu mainly sells directly through its own website and stores. No retail middleman means more profits namastaying with Lulu. Mar 28, 2019 Lululemon surges 11% on man-pants focus Read More Set an intention... The Vancouver-based team over at Lululemon did for 2018. And it worked. Quarterly sales surged 26%, making last year one of its "strongest yet." Lulu's focus for the future is to blossom into a "dual-gender" brand.
Man's best friend... is a pair of sweat-wicking, technical khakis with a hidden back pocket. Lulu's CEO straight up called out guys as its "most exciting" area of growth:
Turns out "men's bottoms" have become "extremely profitable."
So Lulu signed NFL QB Nick Foles to be its first male ambassador of squat-worthy pants (FYI, he prefers the title "elite ambassador" and is now really into the hashtag #thesweatlife).
And since Lulu only owns 20% of the male workout market currently, it's very, very into this.The Takeaway:"Work-leisure-wear" is now a thing... Goldman just rolled out a “firm wide flexible dress code” JPMorgan's been tie-optional since 2016. So Lulu's thinking beyond its vinyasa gear to daily uniform options of a suit-free office future. Jul 12, 2019 Lululemon opens 25K-square-foot everything store in Chicago for sweaty people Read More Swanky hotel + gym + Lululemon... (with a hint of WeWork). Execs at Lululemon said "yes" to any ideas that could be thrown into its new 25K-square-foot store in Chicago's Lincoln Park. Opening day was yesterday (we were curious). The 1st floor's your standard retail merch (from her stretchy pants to his joggers). But on the 2nd floor, things get transcendental:
Work your body: There's a studio for yoga and another for HIITs (high intensity interval training). Plus, Equinox-quality locker rooms to un-sweat yourself.
Work your soul: A 3rd studio (surprise) for meditation.
Work your mind: Workspace to flip open your laptop when the post-workout endorphins kick in.
Fuel yourself: Then there's the clean-eating menu at the new chef-designed, influencer-consulted restaurant, called "Fuel".
Faux-industrial, succulent-infused, minimalist decor... But Lulu means business. There are 50 classes per week at $25 each. They're designed to generate sales — You can try on clothes through an entire yoga flow class, then not buy them. And it's planning to expand: by 2023, Lulu wants 10% of its locations to be this new breed of everything store.The Takeaway:Offer something Amazon can't... That's been the strategy of retail companies thriving despite the retail-pocalypse around them. These physical dream-stores whipped up at Lulu's v2.0 spot are packed with an experience online shopping can't replicate.