Lululemon just beat its own record, reporting second-quarter sales nearly double those of last year. As athleisure continues to dominate mainstream fashion, here’s how the retailer (a pioneer of the trend) has stayed ahead of the pack.
A fast favorite for millennials, Lululemon stood out amongst activewear brands thanks in part to its focus on womenswear, maintaining Gifted status in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Activewear for the past two years. One way the brand rose to the top is consistently sending mobile-first emails, contributing to the highest average email open rate out of all tracked brands. The brand also made moves on its website by expanding on-model imagery and adding Apple Pay. In a departure from the streamlined strategies other brands were applying, Lululemon launched a robust loyalty program complete with gamified sign-up, various benefits, and personalized services such as complimentary hemming.
In addition to digital enhancements, Lululemon is also one of a growing crop of brands constructing unique retail formats in competitive urban markets like New York. It began innovating upon its brick-and-mortar retail experience in 2015, opening Manhattan HUB Seventeen as a community gathering space offering yoga classes and now offers yoga at nearly every store; the brand went on to expand its experiential offering with Lululemon labs, a designer workspace and store, and a men’s location in New York.
Though Lululemon has focused primarily on its offline image in the past, its latest changes indicate a new commitment to the digital field. Though the brand still has a ways to go online, the changes it’s been making are proof that small digital moves can make for a mighty sales boost.