Posted on

Lululemon CEO: The word ‘athleisure’ doesn’t define who we are


Lululemon often gets credited with fueling the so-called athleisure movement in the U.S., as many women often don its famous leggings and tops to wear not only to the gym but around town.

Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald told CNBC’s Sara Eisen Thursday morning.

The yoga-pants maker on Wednesday held its first analyst meeting in five years, laying out a growth plan where it’s targeting annual sales gains of a low-teens percentage rate through 2023. The meeting also marked McDonald’s first official debut to Wall Street. He joined Lululemon from LVMH-owned Sephora last year, after Laurent Potdevin was ousted from the CEO role amid misconduct allegations.

Lululemon’s growth strategy includes greater investments in its men’s business, opening more — and bigger —stores both in the U.S. and overseas, and branching into new product categories. Lululemon is going to start selling skin-care products this summer, for example, and it plans to start making its own sneakers.

With these new investments still ahead of it, McDonald said the best is yet to come.

“We are a 20-year-old brand that is showing the best days are still ahead of us,” McDonald said. “Our guest loyalty is above almost any brand I’ve ever seen. … 92% of [our customers] continue to shop us year in and year out.”

He added, “We view Lululemon as an experiential brand versus a lifestyle brand. We are going to test and learn.”

Lululemon shares have surged more than 82% over the past 12 months, compared with the S&P 500 Retail ETF’s (XRT‘S) growth of just 1.5%.


Top News & Analysis