In the wake of the retail apocalypse, we’ve been seeing company’s shut down stores left, right, and centre. But for some retailers, store closures don’t always mean the death of its brand. For Lululemon, its recent store closures are all about testing and learning.
Lululemon has quietly closed its men’s standalone store locations.
The Vancouver-based yoga-inspired athletic company opened its first men’s only retail location in New York City in 2014, and it’s since been consolidated to a large format location just four blocks away.
Closer to home, Lululemon had a menswear store on Toronto’s trendy Ossington Avenue.
Dubbed The Local, the store acted as a hub for men in the community, providing access to running group routes, events, a ping pong table, an on-site barber, and a cold brew bar. Unfortunately for exercise enthusiasts, The Local closed at the end of 2018, after a short two-year run.
Despite the shuttering of the concept stores, Lululemon isn’t giving up on menswear yet.
In fact, according to a report by Bloomberg, Lululemon is planning to more than double its menswear business in the next five years, and the menswear stores weren’t exactly a flop — sales were actually up 26% from the year prior.
“We continually test and learn at Lululemon — which is what we did with the men’s stores,” Erin Hankinson, a spokesperson for Lululemon said. After testing out the menswear stores, the retailer found that customers responded better to the company as a “duel-gender brand.”
In the upcoming years, the company will focus on its more productive stores and continue to grow into different categories, as well as menswear.
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Earlier this year, Lululemon announced that it would be producing a line of self-care products, and just this month, the retailer partnered with Sephora as an official stockist.
The line will also be carried in 50 Lululemon stores and at select studio partners, and features four clean products: basic balm ($16), sweat reset face moisturizer ($52), no-show dry shampoo ($38), and anti-stink deodorant ($14).
In addition, the retailer plans to rollout its own brand of footwear in the near future. So while they’ve closed some stores, Lululemon isn’t going anywhere yet, and we can still expect to see big things from the company over the years.
Featured image: Instagram/@lululemonto
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