Market Overview

Demand For Athleisure Is Continuing To Rise

Demand For Athleisure Is Continuing To Rise

Despite the pandemic, consumers are continuing to buy athleisure apparel.

On Thursday, Lululemon Athletica Inc (NASDAQ: LULU) reported same-store sales, the measure of online sales combined with stores open for at least one year, grew 19% in the third quarter from the same period a year ago. 

The number was part of the company’s Q3 earnings report, in which the company reported both earnings per share and revenue above analyst estimates. Shares of LULU were down slightly Friday morning however, reflecting Wall Street’s high expectations for the company. 

More Online Shopping

If there’s been any effect on athleisure from the pandemic, it’s how consumers shop. Lululemon said Thursday that direct-to-consumer sales, which includes online shopping, rose 94% year-over-year to $352 million. The segment now accounts for 42.8% of total revenue compared to 26.9% a year ago. 

In terms of specific demographics, the company reported revenue from its women’s segment rose 22% year-over-year, while men’s rose 14%. 

“We are excited about how the holiday season has begun with continued demand for our product offerings and we have confidence in our ability to execute during this period,” said CEO Calvin McDonald. 

Secular Trends In Athleisure

The growth of Lululemon this year is not just reflective of them, however. Industry experts say it’s a case of athleisure continuing to grow as a segment. 

“Athleisure is still a new trend to the majority of the population,” said Joseph Yuyi, founder and CEO of Kobrelms, an online athleisure retailer. “And so athleisure is revolutionizing the whole clothing industry with world-class designs; lightweight, fitted, stretchy, stylish, true moisture-wicking, longevity, and robust to withstand the most intense workout, but comfortable enough to be worn outside the gym.”

In addition to demographic changes, home fitness will also be a huge driver for the segment according to Yuyi (Lululemon bought home fitness startup Mirror for $500 million in June). 

“In the future, you will see a lot of fitness wear, fitness gadgets, and equipment, designed for home workouts,” he said. 


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