We’re in NYC this week attending the NRF (National Retail Federation) BIG Show. The first talk on our list was called (aptly): ‘Exciting new NYC stores that deserve a visit’. There was quite a list, and on it there were some we think are definitely worth visiting…but at the top was Lululemon Mens Store in Soho. The store manager, Megan Dolce, was a speaker on the panel and added some depth to this recent venture for the Yoga brand.
The move to get men to see Lululemon as ‘not just for women’ is the main reason behind this push into an exclusive men’s retail concept. Or to re-quote Felix del Toro, the SVP of Lululemon Mens: “We’re such a strong women’s brand, there hadn’t been the same amount of attention to who the guy was, who the guest we’re appealing to was”.
The brand is hoping to make it’s menswear division a one billion dollar business by 2020. They’ve been aggressively pushing this area in their mainstay stores for the past 2 and half years, focusing on three core collections (which tap into the larger Athleisure trend): Sweat (gym wear), Post Sweat (going to and from the gym), and No Sweat (street wear).
The Lululemon Mens store takes this ambition and pushes it further, giving the brand a masculine edge. To start with the store is all black – gone is the red and feminine colour scheme and softer edges; it features their male ambassador’s paraphernalia – like grid iron helmets, dumbbells…a far cry from the yoga poses in a regular Lululemon store. It’s one of only two stores to offer custom product, through something called ‘The Joinery’ where guys can customise the liners in their Lululemon shorts.
That said, the store is just like it’s other stores in that it’s all about community – in this case for men. They run dinners in the store for influencers and have partnered with a barber for Movember. The brand plans on opening two more stores in Miami and Santa Monica. We think this is a great move on behalf of this retailer to expand it’s reach – while keeping the brand’s values consistent.
Address: 127 Prince Street, Soho, NYC