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).
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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.
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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.
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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’.
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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.
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