Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) plans to open its first men's store in New York City this fall, and will unveil several more by 2016.
"Lululemon's men's business is growing, and we are focused on developing product which marries performance and style," Felix Del Toro, senior VP and head of men's design for Lululemon told Racked. "We recently launched men's-specific social channels and continue to elevate our guest experience and global brand awareness for our products."
Consumers feel very strongly about the lululemon brand. For example, one male fan of the retailer created a website, LuluMen, dedicated to the menswear.
Despite setbacks in management—founder Chip Wilson recently agreed to sell half his remaining shares, 27.7 percent, to Advent International, ending a one-year battle with the board—and production—last year yoga pants had to be recalled for being so sheer that they were see-through—Lululemon has done remarkably well since its launch in 1998. According to retail consulting firm Davidowitz & Associates, the retailer is the highest-performing apparel chain in the United States, with a sales capacity of $1,700 per square foot.
Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates, said that Lululemon already has the inventory and brand behind its name to create a successful men's market, perhaps even increasing their earnings by 30 to 40 percent.
Fitness and yoga apparel is growing at a faster rate than the apparel industry in general. NPD predicts that fitness apparel will reach $126 billion in sales by 2015. Still, Lululemon's menswear would have to compete with the likes of brands such as Nike (NYSE:NKE), which recently reported a strong quarter that included a 70 percent increase in e-commerce sales.
-See this Racked article
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*This story originally stated that the website, LuluMen, was created by the retailer. That information was incorrect and now reflects the true information that the site was started and run by fans not associated with the Lululemon.