Running a fashion business comes with its own challenges of surviving in a competitive market under pressing urgencies. A brand runs successfully after overcoming multiple varieties of challenges. Well, these businesses have plenty of opportunities to grow their income. Statista reports that the revenue of the global apparel market was calculated to amount to some 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars in 2021 and was predicted to increase to approximately 2 trillion dollars by 2026. To help brands overcome challenges and increase their revenue, we have outlined the Lululemon Growth Story to understand the strategies that helped them grow 500% in a decade.
Lululemon Growth Story
Lululemon has established itself as a major participant in the fashion & apparel retail business. Initially, the company began by concentrating on women’s yoga clothing, but now it produces clothing for running, cycling, and other athletic sports. This apparel brand was founded in 1998 in Vancouver, Canada and now it has around 600 stores located in 17 countries. Lululemon made $1 billion in revenue in 2012, and now it is a $6.3 billion enterprise. Let’s take a closer look at what the growth statistics for this lifestyle brand look like.
The image above represents the annual net revenue of Lululemon from 2010 to 2022. Macrotrends reports that the annual revenue for 2022 was $6.257B which increased 525% in a decade. Furthermore, the reports describe that Lululemon Athletica Inc’s revenue for the quarter ending July 31, 2022, was $1.868B, a 28.8% increase year-over-year.
Now, let’s move ahead to explore the strategies behind the growth of Lululemon.
Lululemon Growth Strategies
The apparel retailer is obsessed with creating technically innovative and trademarked materials like Luon, Nulu, Boolux, and Luxtreme. Technological advances make it harder for competitors to imitate its success. Moreover, Lululemon focuses on creating realistic goals. While its competitors make 100% of their assortments with sustainable materials in 2025, Lululemon aims to make 75% of its assortments with sustainable materials by 2025. The athleisure brand not only focuses on product innovation but also on the stores. The brand opened a new flagship store in 2019 in Lincoln Park Chicago which is 20,000 sq. ft. This store has a yoga studio, gym, meditation area, and café for customers looking for more than just shopping.
2. Digital Strategy
The emphasis has been on bringing a design concept to life through a combination of engaging storytelling, customization, and product assortment, all while making the commerce experience scalable, simple, and frictionless. The retailer continues to use its CRM engine to drive digital marketing campaigns, local store activities, and events with deeper guest segmentation and expertise, boosting guest loyalty and experience.
3. No marketing is necessary
Unlike other brands, this retailer has no extensive campaigns, no flashy billboards, no significant collaborations, and no TV ads. Instead, Lululemon markets its brand via word of mouth using the community-centric marketing approach. The marketing is done through free events and relationships with the brand ambassadors. The brand has created a strong community through its 1,500-member ambassador program and its user-generated content.
4. Relentless focus
Initially, Lululemon began by producing yoga-inspired clothing for women, which quickly became popular and propelled the brand to prominence. The Canadian brand has recently expanded its offerings to include men. In 2020, women’s sales accounted for around 70% of lululemon’s total revenue.
5. Focus on what you are best at
Lululemon’s strength is in recognizing its comparative advantages and refining its products to match consumer expectations. “Focus on what you do well, and only that,” along with premium prices, is a critical component of Lululemon’s success.
Lululemon’s Five-Year Plan
Lululemon achieved its men’s growth target and expects to double the revenue size by 2026 along with expanding its women’s and accessories businesses. By 2026, the company expects to double its digital revenues. To achieve this goal, lululemon will continue to create world-class experiences by leveraging the power of its guest relationships to strengthen physical and digital connections, grow its community, and inspire via innovation. Lululemon expects to quadruple its international revenues relative by 2026.
Why not use this year to add one or more new strings to your business that will help you expand and protect your future profitability?
There are always things you can do to improve your brand, staff, and structure as the Lululemon growth story sets an example. Try to implement new ideas that can help you get started, get some aid, and establish realistic yet ambitious or exciting goals for each. Brands are important, but so is retail. We can succeed even in a changing environment. Fashion & Apparel Brands must maintain their competitive advantage. The opportunities in the market are higher than most people realize.