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Lululemon Unveils New Line of Men’s Footwear


Lululemon Athletica, a leading brand in activewear, has revealed its highly anticipated collection of men’s footwear. This strategic move aims to solidify its position as a dominant player in the men’s activewear market.

Introducing the New Footwear Line

The new line features two running shoes and a casual sneaker, catering to both men and women. This marks the first time that Lululemon will offer footwear for both genders. These models will be released gradually throughout the spring season, with the casual sneaker being the first to drop on Feb. 13th.

“We have taken note of the demand expressed online, through our social media channels, and especially from our dedicated ambassadors in stores. The time has come for us to introduce footwear for men, and we are excited to fulfill this request,” stated Simon Atkins, Lululemon’s head of footwear.

Positive Market Response

Shares of Lululemon experienced a 1.6% increase, reaching $460.97, on the day of the unveiling. In comparison, the S&P 500 index achieved a 1% gain. However, it is worth noting that Lululemon’s stock has witnessed a 10% decrease this year.

Competitive Landscape and Importance of Market Share

Lululemon’s competitors in the activewear industry have recently shown signs of vulnerability, with heightened competition coinciding with a potential decline in demand. As a result, gaining and maintaining market share has become increasingly crucial for companies like Lululemon.

While Lululemon has become a dominant force in women’s athleticwear, it has encountered difficulties in capturing the same level of enthusiasm among male customers. According to the company’s latest earnings call, brand awareness among men in the U.S. stands at approximately 13%. Additionally, sales of menswear have not kept pace with the growth seen in the women’s business over the past three quarters.

The Footwear Advantage

Lululemon believes that its new footwear collection will provide the necessary boost to its menswear business. “We understand that men enjoy crafting their outfits starting from the ground up,” explained Nikki Neuburger, Lululemon’s chief brand officer. Neuburger emphasized that footwear plays a significant role in completing an outfit.

Industry analyst Tom Nikic from Wedbush expressed confidence that the launch will undoubtedly expand the men’s business and increase customer loyalty. However, he acknowledged that breaking into the male footwear category is a challenging endeavor.

In conclusion, with the introduction of their innovative footwear assortment, Lululemon aims to strengthen their position in the men’s activewear market and increase their market share.

Lululemon’s Expansion into Footwear Market

Lululemon, the renowned athleisure brand, has been making waves in the men’s apparel sector. However, convincing men to switch their loyalty from well-established brands like Nike and Adidas to a new player in the market will undoubtedly be challenging. Despite the obstacles, industry experts believe that Lululemon has a potential to thrive in the casual sneaker space, particularly with its successful athleisure offerings for men, such as the popular ABC pant.

While Lululemon entered the footwear market just two years ago, it is expected to take some time before shoes, both for men and women, become a significant driver of growth for the company. Currently, specific details about footwear sales are not disclosed individually, but are rather presented together with accessories and the now-defunct Lululemon studio. In the latest quarter, this combined segment experienced a remarkable year-over-year growth of over 25%, accounting for approximately 12% of Lululemon’s total revenue.

Despite this positive trajectory, Lululemon has set its sights on its core apparel business to achieve its ambitious target of generating $12.5 billion in revenue by 2026. Deena Neuburger, a spokesperson for the company, emphasized that footwear sales were not deemed essential for this long-term goal. Success in the footwear market would be seen as an unexpected bonus for the company.

Echoing this sentiment, Nikita Nikic, an industry analyst, believes that the bigger growth opportunity for Lululemon lies in women’s footwear. Traditionally, female athletes have been underserved by the industry, presenting a unique chance for Lululemon to distinguish itself by adopting a “women-first” approach to shoe design. While a solid men’s business would certainly be a positive outcome, Nikic compares it to icing on top of icing on the cake.

Lululemon’s venture into the footwear market marks an exciting new chapter for the brand. With careful execution and a focus on their core apparel business, Lululemon is poised to continue its growth and secure a strong position in the industry.

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