By: Melissa Miller
A new trend has entered the fashion and retail world over the past few years and that trend is called Athleisure. This new trend combines the comfort of wearing athletic clothes with fashion. In other words, people are wearing athletic clothes in non-athletic settings and it is now considered highly fashionable. In the article, “Lululemon, Nike and the Rise of Athleisure” it discusses how Lululemon was really the one to make this trend popular. For those of you who don’t know Lululemon, it’s a powerhouse company that sells men’s and women’s athletic clothing.
Greg Petro starts the article with an interesting question on whether or not this is just a fad. According, to the numbers it looks like Athleisure is here to stay. In U.S. alone consumers spent $323 billion on apparel, footwear and accessories in 2014. According to analysts, this is a trend that is here to stay for very long time. According to Chief Analyst Marshal Cohen from The NPD Group Inc. said “This is no longer a trend – it is now a lifestyle that is too comfortable, for consumers of all ages, for it go away anytime soon.”
Lululemon is a company that promotes a healthy and active lifestyle. When you buy Lululemon they don’t want you to just by the brand they want you to buy the lifestyle. Which is why you shouldn’t be surprised to see them holding yoga classes inside of their stores. This has been a successful time for Lululemon especially over the past few years. One of the big factors that have really helped promote this brand is the living a more active and healthy life trend. According to the article, Lululemon posted a 16 percent growth in sales this year, jumping from $391 million a year ago to $53 million this year. Not a bad year for Lululemon, not a bad year at all. However, with this success that they have seen over the past few years the level of competition is becoming very high in this market place.
Nike being the powerhouse athletic clothing company that is was one of the first companies that really jumped into this market place. Nike has now specifically targeted women’s athleisure, with launching new products coming this fall and winter that are for this specific target market. They really brought out the big guns in these campaigns with its “#BetterForIt” digital marketing campaign as well as featuring everyday women rather than supermodels and professional athletes. This is something that as a consumer we really haven’t seen Nike do, they have been more notorious for using sports icons for promoting their products. According to the article, Nike has the potential to grow women’s sales by 40 percent or up to $7 billion dollars by 2017.
Both Lululemon are seeing astronomical results from this new marketplace. Over the last 52 weeks Lululemon’s shares are up 31.4 percent and 40.1 percent. This really starts to pose the question on whether or not other companies should be starting to enter. Whether or not it is smart for them, they still are. There are a number of popular women’s brands that are starting to make their way in such as Victoria’s Secret, Fabletics, Under Armour and Forever 21. Tory Burch and Lilly Pulitzer also recently announced that they are coming out with an athletic line.
The really interesting question with this trend is are all of the new entries to this market place going to see success like Nike and Lululemon have, or will just not be able to compete? In terms, of brand recognition and loyalty it may be hard to compete with companies like Lululemon and Nike. However, if they can come in and undercut these bigger brands they have potential to see success. This new competition could in the long run hurt Lululemon and Nike, but if they continue innovating new products and styles they should still see success.
Petro, Greg. “Lululemon, Nike and the Rise of Athleisure.” Forbes. Forbes-Investing, 16 Sept. 2015. Web. 20 Sept. 2015.