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Lululemon footwear marks new product to tackle Nike, Adidas

Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald stated that launching into sneakers was the following pure step for the leggings maker.

Supply: Lululemon

Lululemon is venturing into footwear, marking a brand new product class for the maker of leggings and sports activities bras and deepening its rivalry with giants like Nike and Adidas.

The corporate’s first-ever working shoe for ladies, referred to as Blissfeel, shall be obtainable to buy beginning March 22 in choose markets throughout North America, Mainland China and the UK. The trainers will retail for $148.

The launch marks Lululemon’s official foray into the sneaker class, having only previously sold a small collection of shoes from Athletic Propulsion Labs. The footwear enterprise, for ladies and men, might show to be one other vital lever of development for the athletic clothes retailer because it seeks to catch its bigger opponents.

Sneaker gross sales have boomed in the course of the pandemic as extra customers choose up working or go for extra comfy sneakers whereas working from house. It is an extremely heated class with opponents starting from giants like Nike and On Running to extra area of interest manufacturers like Allbirds, which additionally makes a working shoe.

Lululemon stated it is aiming to launch a males’s footwear assortment subsequent 12 months, at which level it’ll broaden its choice for ladies with special-edition sneakers and seasonal sneakers.

Within the meantime, Lululemon stated it’ll debut two forms of ladies’s cross-training sneakers this summer season, priced at $138 and $148, adopted by a slide-on shoe meant for post-workout put on, at $58, and one other coaching sneaker with a extra supportive midsole, at $128.

Lululemon will start this 12 months by launching a working shoe and different choices for ladies, adopted by a males’s footwear assortment in 2023.

Supply: Lululemon

The launches test off a long-awaited aim for Lululemon and Chief Government Calvin McDonald.

Again in 2019, earlier than the coronavirus pandemic, McDonald said the company saw a whitespace in the shoe market. He hinted that sooner or later Lululemon would start promoting its personal footwear, constructing on the success it had with APL.

McDonald stated in an announcement Tuesday that branching into the footwear market was the following pure step for the corporate.

“It represents an thrilling second for our model,” he stated. “We’re getting into the footwear class the identical method we constructed our attire enterprise — with merchandise designed to resolve unmet wants, made for ladies first.”

Athletic footwear gross sales in america grew 17% for males and 24% for ladies in 2021 in contrast with 2020 ranges, in accordance with information from market analysis agency NPD Group.

The highest sneaker manufacturers for ladies, notably, are Nike, Skechers, Adidas, Brooks and New Stability, in accordance with NPD sports activities analyst Matt Powell. Powell stated he anticipates gross sales of each ladies’s and males’s sports activities footwear will develop a low-single-digit proportion this 12 months, coming off of final 12 months’s beneficial properties, with the primary half of 2022 dealing with greater challenges for the trade than the latter half.

Early final 12 months, one other spherical of stimulus checks from the federal government propelled client spending, Powell stated. And many patrons opted for a brand new pair of sneakers.

Lululemon’s gross sales for the 12 months ended Jan. 31, 2021 grew to $4.4 billion from $3.98 billion a 12 months earlier. Its inventory is down greater than 20% 12 months up to now.

Nike, for comparability, raked in $44.5 billion in gross sales in its fiscal 12 months ended Might 31, up 19% from prior-year ranges. Adidas has but to report its outcomes for 2021. Its income for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2020, amounted to 19.8 billion euros, or about $21.6 billion.

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