Amidst the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian athleisure brand lululemon athletica has reported favourable earnings and shared some lessons from its experience in China, as reported by Coresight Research.
Firstly, the numbers: lululemon reported its 4Q20 earnings results, which included growth by region – North America was up 19%, international was up 25% and China was up 70%. For the full fiscal year 2019, lululemon delivered over $4 billion in revenue, representing 21% growth over the previous year.
Coming to the learnings, amidst the on-going crisis, lululemon stayed engaged with consumers by leveraging social media and apps to offer free exercise classes and encourage at-home workouts. The brand created the “Community Carries On” content portal for its community to connect and access online fitness and health resources. And, lululemon characterised its China learnings into two workstreams, “support” and “recovery.”
lululemon attributed its success of coming out of the coronavirus crisis to a mix of factors, including a strong balance sheet with cash, access to revolving credit, strong teams and leadership, product innovation, seasonless products and strong marketplace and vendor partnerships. The brand is planning to reopen its stores on a market-by-market basis in the recovery phase.
The brand also confirmed that its North America and Europe businesses have followed the lead of China, where the retailer gained thousands of new followers on social media platform WeChat. Amidst store closure, lululemon is now offering online “sweat sessions” for yoga, meditation, Pilates, dance and other training exercises on Instagram.
In addition, lululemon has also launched a $2 million global Ambassador Relief Fund to assist its ambassadors, many of whom own studios in their local communities, to sustain their businesses.