Lulemon Athletica is an athletic apparel company based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The company was founded by Dennis “Chip” Wilson, in the year 1998.
Dennis Wilson had been in the skate, surf, and snowboard business for over 20 years when he took a commercial yoga class that was offered in Vancouver. Wilson found the results to be thrilling. He quickly was immersed in the idea of making his yoga experience the best possible. He believed the clothes that were being used for yoga were not the most appropriate. They made him sweat and weren’t very easy for the maneuvers yoga required. This would lead to the beginning of Wilson’s success.
From Wilson’s passion for athletic fabrics, a design studio was born, which at the same time operated as a yoga studio at night, to help pay for expenses. Wilson offered clothes for sale, which led to the birth of a yoga clothing movement. Insight was provided from yoga instructors, who were asked to wear the products. The positive insight, mixed with Wilson’s drive, would be the necessary factors for the creation of a new company.
Various names were reviewed but none seemed to make the grade. A survey of 100 people was setup, including 20 logos and brand names. The logo which was chosen was a letter “A” which came from the name “Athletically Hip”. The latter would be ditched. Lululemon Athletica would be chosen to replace the original company name.
The first store opened in November of 2000 near the beach area of Vancouver. The goal in mind was to create a healthy living community, where one could walk in and learn and discuss, as well as shop. This method created a more welcoming experience for the customer, however, it made it nearly impossible to help the customer this way on top of selling the products. Educators were then added to the staff, who were trained so well that they could influence their own families, communities, and most importantly the customers. This success of this company method was great, which would open the doors for expansion.
Wilson’s initial goal only had one store in mind. However, it was obvious that with such success and demand, new stores had to be opened. These expanded with time and as of October 2012, Lululemon runs approximately 201 stores. These include locations in North America, as well as Australia and New Zealand. It also has showrooms in Great Britain, and in Hong Kong. Lululemon is also sold at fitness studios including CorePower Yoga, Physique 57 and more.
Lululemon also has a subsidiary which targets girls between the ages 6-12 called, Ivivva Athletica. As of October 2012, Ivviva has 14 locations, mostly in the United States and Canada. Clothes are designed with input from dancers, gymnasts, and ice skaters, marketing primarly for the active teenage girl. Dance classes are even provided weekly at their locations.
In 2005, Advent International, a private equity firm, bought 48% minority interest for $225 million. This left Wilson with 42% ownership. Robert Meers, former CEO of Reebok, became the new CEO of the company. Lululemon Athletica became a public company on July 27, 2007 after announcing a public offering in May of that same year. Lululemon Athletica is now a public company with a revenue of US$ 1 Billion as of 2012. It employs 2861 employees within 3 divisions which include OQOQO and Ivivva Athletica.
Lululemon is a clothing line for yoga athletic clothing. It’s a brand/store that people don’t hear of much, but it’s a high-end type of athletic-wear market. Since this store was to help women to be and get more athletic, it sold good quality yoga clothing that was just in fit and comfortable for the body of women. However, they do sell athletic wear for men, too. It has over 201 stores spread in Canada and North America.
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