May 22, 2022

Enterprise JM

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Lululemon jumps into the footwear small business

The athleisure corporation, recognized for its leggings and yoga pants, introduced a working shoe for women of all ages referred to as Blissfeel. The shoe marks Lululemon first-at any time foray into footwear.

The transfer sets Lululemon Athletica (LULU) up as the most recent entrant in the speedy-developing, really competitive athletic footwear market, which saw annual gross sales expand 20% in 2021 about the prior yr as individuals gravitated to far more casual dressing during the pandemic, in accordance to market study organization NPD.

The business stated its Blissfeel footwear will be accessible for obtain commencing March 22 in pick stores throughout North The usa, China, the United Kingdom and on the web.

The sneaker, priced at $148, is designed with foam cushion engineering and comes in 10 shades, the company said.

Lululemon reported the footwear is built to target on the unmet demands of active women of all ages.

“We intentionally commenced with girls mainly because we observed an option to fix for the point that, more often than not, functionality sneakers are developed for adult males and then tailored for ladies,” Sunlight Choe, Lululemon’s chief merchandise officer, mentioned in a assertion. “That failed to sit perfectly with us.”

The manufacturer is rolling out three further footwear possibilities for women of all ages this yr that involve a cross-schooling shoe, a education shoe and what it really is calling a “article-exercise session” shoe.

“This is a massive offer,” reported NPD’s senior marketplace advisor and footwear analyst Matt Powell. “This is the initial time a important model is building a sneaker exclusively for women of all ages. Basically what the brands market in this area are more compact variations of men’s sneakers. This is a filthy little secret of the market. Lululemon is constructing a shoe from the within out uniquely built for women’s toes.”

The enterprise stated a separate footwear line for adult men will debut upcoming 12 months.

Lululemon's new footwear collection includes four shoe styles for women.

Lululemon signaled its intention to grow into footwear in 2019, when company executives said during an analyst event that they observed “white place” in the category that they hoped to acquire advantage of.

The transfer now pits Lululemon against sector leaders Nike (NKE) and Adidas as perfectly as trendier brand names these types of as On and Allbirds.

“On the floor, generating this participate in in sneakers is reasonable as it truly is a massive sector and one which normally complements Lululemon’s other athleisure items,” explained Neil Saunders, retail analyst and handling director at GlobalData Retail.

“That claimed, individuals are very wedded to makes like Nike, so Lulu is going to have to differentiate strongly if it needs to make an affect,” he added.