Earlier this year Lululemon quietly opened a new store called Forlise in Whistler. (Yes, it sounds exactly like ‘for lease’ – they named it after the ‘for lease’ sign on the shop front).
It’s designed to be an experimental community-based store, aimed to introduce men to the brand – in a less feminised version than they currently know it.
Like their Soho Men’s store, it draws upon sports that sit outside of Yoga to do this. The store offers bike tuning, stretch classes with a beer as well as clothes and sports equipment. The store doesn’t just stock Lululemon but other brands too.
To quote the brand it’s ‘the man cave – a well-edited Man Cave’. The strategy to ‘stay true to keeping it local and handmade goods – sourced from the area – from handmade cedar furniture to recycled wooden palettes that display artwork to beer direct from Whistler Brewery and locally roasted coffee beans’.
The walls are continuously changing with work work from local artists – 20% of sales from the pieces go to local charity.
Like their Soho store – the Chop Shop is there – their in house tailoring service.
It’s a overt move by the company to embrace a more decentralised approach to retail.
No longer is the cookie-cutter, Yogini approach going to work – particularly as the brand has such bold ambition for it’s underdeveloped menswear category.