health and fitness

Lululemon Moves Into Peloton Territory

Lululemon, best known for its athletic apparel, is high-stepping deeper into connected fitness with a new membership program. Like rival Peloton, Lululemon Studio will offer members a variety of home workouts.

Members can access the training through Mirror, its connected device brand, in-person with trainers, and on the go via an app.

With Mirror, subscribers already had access to over 10,000 live-streamed and on-demand classes. This program adds partnerships with fitness brands including Y7 Studio, Dogpound, Pure Barre, Rumble and YogaSix.

Besides new weekly classes from these partners, members will also get discounted classes at studios’ brick-and-mortar locations and discounts on Lululemon’s products.

The Vancouver company says the new offer is meant to bridge the gap between home workouts, which soared in popularity during the pandemic, and the selective return to gyms and fitness studios.

“No longer will you have to choose between going to your favorite studio or streaming a class at home—you can have both,” says Nikki Neuburger, Lululemon’s chief brand officer, in the announcement. “Lululemon Studio unlocks the versatility our community has told us they are looking for now.”

The introduction is linked to its new Lululemon Membership. The basic level is free and offers “shopping perks, community experiences, and access to select Lululemon Studio classes at no cost.”

Studio Membership is priced at $39 per month and requires the Lululemon Studio Mirror, priced at $795.

By comparison, Peloton’s membership costs $39 per month for use with its bike, treadmills and rowing machines.  Its recent struggles have sparked significant discounting on its equipment. Still, even the most affordable bikes are priced in the $1,400 range. A digital-only Peloton subscription is also available for $13 per month and can be used alone.

Lululemon Studio may help the company make lemonade out of the Mirror deal. It paid $500 million for the acquisition in 2020. Within a year, it drastically lowered its revenue forecasts for Mirror, from $250 million to $275 million to between $125 million and $130 million.

And founder and CEO Brynn Putnam left the company in September.

But any drag from Mirror isn’t detracting from Lululemon’s overall shine. In its more recent quarterly results, it reported a 29% gain in sales, with revenue rising to $1.9 billion. D2C revenue rose 30%.

Those results impressed observers, beating expectations. “Importantly, in-store traffic was up over 30% year-over-year, while ecommerce traffic was up over 40%,” writes Gabriella Carbone, who follows the company for Deutsche Bank. “Transactions by first-time guests increased over 20%, with transactions by existing guests increasing in the high teens -- which showcases ongoing market share gains.”

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