Lululemon seeks international expansion

Lululemon seeks international expansion

Lululemon has been boosted by the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the sports and leisure clothing brand now wants to conquer the rest of the world.


Strong growth

While most other clothing companies were hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, the pandemic turned out to be more of a blessing for Lululemon. The label, known for its pricey leggings worn by celebrities such as Meghan Markle, saw the demand for sporty leisurewear in North America virtually explode. The stock market value of the company has risen to 50 billion US dollars (41 billion euros) in recent months. 


For now, the Vancouver-based company only generates 14% of its revenues - total turnover in 2019 was around $4 billion - overseas. However, if it were up to CEO Calvin McDonald, that will soon change. "There's no reason why that can't be 50/50 in the next few years," he told the Financial Times.


André Maestrini, who will be joining from Adidas in the new year, will lead the international push. Nikki Neuburger, hired this year as Chief Brand Officer, will also make Lululemon's brand awareness abroad an absolute priority.


"Female yoga brand"

Meanwhile, Lululemon is also trying to increase its popularity among men. According to McDonald, the brand has an image problem in that group. "A large percentage of men are not familiar with Lululemon, and if they are, they consider it to be a female yoga brand," he said. The chief executive added that the brand is much more comprehensive than yoga and that it has evolved tremendously. Internationally, this gender challenge would affect the brand much less.


Last quarter, Lululemon derived 43% of its turnover from e-commerce. Nevertheless, the fashion company also wants to keep investing in new shops. In 2021, another 30 to 35 shops will be added, same as this year. These will be located in Asia, Australia and Europe. The chain currently has 140 overseas shops out of a total of 515.