Friday, June 14, 2013

Lululemon to Open Men's Stand Alone Stores


Lululemon is planning to open stand alone men's stores to capture more of the men's athletic wear market. My husband seemed pretty underwhelmed by the idea when I told him about it. He has no problem going into our local stores to do his shopping. There are always plenty of nice looking women who are wearing snug fitting pants and tops so it's not like that is any kind of a deterrent for most guys. It's probably a benefit compared to the big box sports stores. My local lulu stores always have at least one guy on the floor to talk to the men about the products, too, so it's not like he has to ask a woman whether his junk can breathe (or whatever guys care about) in a certain pair of shorts.

Tom Brady in lulu pants - an old photo but a good one.  ;-)

Tom in a Pacific Beach hoodie

What I think lululemon needs to do is show more professional athletes wearing their product. My husband's interest in the brand certainly perked up when he saw professional golfer Ryan Moore wearing lulu in a tournament on TV.



Lululemon also did a nice job of getting their logo out for the US Men's Doubles Olympic Volleyball team last summer.

One thing I think lulu does need to do for the men's line is go back to the old men's logo. It was definitely more masculine looking than the current one, which is the same one - same size and shape -  as the women's side.


Update - My husband points out to me that lululemon clothes are cut very athletically so you need to be pretty slender through the midsection. He says the major brands like Nike, Adidas are usually more generously cut.

So, guys, what do you think of lululemon's plan to open mens only stores?

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

idk what can be changed about this, but I also think the name lululemon sounds very feminine.

Anonymous said...

Wow.. Nice bum.. May need to get a pair if those for my hubby..

Anonymous said...

They should focus on making a variety of good quality mens items in their current stores first before branching out. The mens line has been blah for so long now.

Anonymous said...

Stupid idea. Guys are not as into brands, especially in clothing, like women are. Electronics, cars, etc. - yes. But not clothing. Lulu is trying to expand, but they would have more success improving quality so that more women will buy, or motivating each woman to buy more.

Anyway, some of my male friends will not even try Lulu stuff because of its brand. They do not want to seem like they care too much about their clothing. Paticularly if they are going to be sweating. Too unmanly.

Anonymous said...

Love your tone and humour in this one LLA. Men's is secondary right now. Lulu offer yoga classes, advertise with female models/athletes front and centre, got to walk through all the women's stuff to the back to men's, and need to expand men's options beyond yoga/run. I prefer the subtle black logo too. My partner wears lulu because I do and worked to convince him but there might not be quite the same attraction to try out it if I hadn't, you know? Sell it on technical awesomeness, fit and function. B

Anonymous said...

Agreed about the name of the company, the logo, and the feeling of the stores.

I've found the stores intimidating; I really have no interest in the scarcity model, nor do I expect to pay full-price.

I really detest the scarcity model; if I find something I like, I'd like to know that it will still be there in a year.

Especially in shirts, walmart sells some pretty decent dri-fit shirts for less than $10; they work quite well for running. I don't see any reason to spend $70 on stuff that really isn't much better.

Ching-a-ling said...

All I got from this post was the parade of eye candy wearing lulu. You've got great taste LLA! lol

Anonymous said...

It seems like a waste of resources to me. Men, in general anyway, don't seem to enjoy weekly clothes shopping trips. My husband doesn't really collect clothes/outfits at the same rate as I do. And doesn't seem too interested in owning 12 of the same tank style, but in various patterns and colors.
I know, there are exceptions to this generalization, but not enough to warrant stand alone store IMO. Maybe it's just my hubby though? I think Lulu needs to focus on fixing their current problems instead.

marie said...

I like the old mens logo, but I honestly don't think the current one is so "femminin" that it would deter guys.

My hubby like lulu, but only has stuff I have given him or he bought (always on sale or from an outlet, he hates paying full price.) I think in general guys are more functional than fashion thinking. And price is a big deterrent for my guy, "why would I pay 58 bucks for a tee shirt I'm going to sweat in and maybe even tear when I can go to Sports Authority and get a Nike shirt for 12 bucks." And we're not broke either. He can afford lulu but dosen't see the practicality in it (however he totally has no problem with me buying it, go figure).

Oh and the Brady shot, very nice. I don't really like the guy, but his ass in those made me want to go get a pair of sweat pants for my husband.

Anonymous said...

No sheerness problem for Tom!

Anonymous said...

I agree with EVERYTHING you said! My husband says the same thing, one of the only reasons he lets me shop at the store is the 'scenery'! He also thinks the name is a little feminine too, the old logo would help a little. He really doesn't care about the name, just as long as it works. If Nike is working at $20 a shirt why pay triple at Lululemon. My store gets tons of women and girls on the weekend and I do see some of the guys that get frustrated while they wait for a dressing room (I had to wait for a 14 yr old girl to get away from the mirror so she could try on headbands, really?! Maybe they can add a men's only dressing room or two like they do at a lot of other stores.

Anonymous said...

Personally I don't think it is necessary. My boyfriend does not shop period. He wears lululemon because I buy it for him. He likes the fit, fabric and quality and wears it for golf mostly. I am a relatively new lulu addict myself and have just bought him his first items this year. He's been into the store a few times with me and seemed to like most of the stuff. Now he asks me what did I get for him when he sees me come home with a lulu bag.

I don't mind that men's and women's gear is sold together however it is sometimes awkward coming out of a dressing room and discussing fit with an ed with men wandering around. That's just me - I tend to be on the shy side.

I do see a fair amount of men at my gym wearing lulu - clients and trainers.

Anonymous said...

My husband loves his Lulu clothing and has a lot of it, but he only shops for it when he goes with me to the store and looks around while he waits for me. He would never purposely head into the men's only store as we always seem to be crunched for time when we even make it to our store....and....that would seem to him like he was really shopping. No bueno.

Anonymous said...

Hi LLA. I am trying to decide on a few things to order for my hubby. Can you give me some insight on which tees and shorts would be good ones to start out with? He is a pretty simple guy in terms of styling,but I think he would love the comfort. TIA

Anonymous said...

According to my two adult size sons the sound of the name does not matter. They dont care if a famous athlete wears LL, they both love their hoodies,a gift from me and shop at LL for that reason. They like seeing attractive women in the store. However,the store can be a zoo at times and they often walk out because of the long lines.

Anonymous said...

my husband would not go to a lulu store by himself. we usually go together. honestly, the slender young male yogis creep him out--they're always more "hands on" than the guys at other stores. they could always semi-separate the stores like Express does. i find it easy to joint shop there AND it's easy for guys to pop in alone. it's always more difficult to shop on different floors like at BLoomingdales. i also hate that the male/female Saks stores are separate in places like chicago.

Anonymous said...

I am a lulu fan. I do like the unisex shopping experience and am not sure that I would enjoy an exclusive store.

And lululemon as a name is brilliant, original and therefore easily identifiable with product supplied.

Regards Andrew.

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 6:47 am - I think people who appreciate good design with regard to functionality and performance really like lululemon. I know it took my husband awhile to admit it because he hates paying a lot for his clothes and he find lululemon prices outrageous but he does like the performance of his lululemon stuff. He finds the tops more breathable than his Nike or New Balance tops. *I* certainly notice that the silver in the Metal Vent tech tops do a wonderful job of suppressing odor and they are great for vacation when you can't launder your clothes. My husband also appreciates the high resale price his used lulu gets on ebay.

Anonymous said...

My husband loves to workout in his lulu. I took me getting him a few pieces to get him hooked though and I would not have bought them if it were in a seperate store. Once in a while I will grab something for him if it catches my eye but if they make a seperate men's store I wouldn't go in.

Anonymous said...

I don't think a men's only store is a bad idea. Banana Republic has a completely separate men's store. Retail now is about the experience. Some guys don't care, but most guys are more comfortable in a guys environment. While some may think the cute LLL sales girls are a motivator, they are a deterrent for others. Men are more comfortable not surrounded by all the girly girl stuff. Also, see the comment about waiting for change room and 14 year old giggling girls. "what am I doing in here?" is what some guys would think, if they're not already into the gear. If you're trying to get new customers and tailor to that gender, it's a good idea. It's also a good idea that the LLL educator/sales dudes come in different shapes and sizes (which they do at my local stores).

As for guys not buying LLL on their own. Read the reviews. Some guys are VERY sold on the technical aspects of great quality work out wear, just the same as they buy and own great quality professional wear, casual wear and great shoes. Some guys do buy multiples of shirts and shorts as they work out a lot. That may be the only downfall of this idea, as guys can stock up and then forget about it for a while. They are not waiting for a new upload, so repeat business probably has lag time. What I also notice from guys' reviews is that they get very frustrated when LLL changes a short's or shirt's cuts. Making them too tight in areas, too short etc. Once you have a winning cut and design for guys, leave it alone! Do not mess with it. Having said that, obviously men's bodies are different shapes, from average to tall and slim vs broader, so you need to design for different fellows' needs too. This is one thing LLL needs to do for BOTH men and women. Women need the petite, average, tall tailoring; and of course have different support needs for the "pointer sisters" (Comedian Carla Collins reference, if you don't know it.)

As for the name, you are never going to change that. Despite the problems with the brand, it is an iconic, recognized brand. Going back to the older "tougher" logo is a good idea.

Jen said...

I've given up trying to get my husband to share in my addiction. He is, was and always will be an Adidas fan. Separate stores won't do it. Lulu is my brand, Adidas is his. He has a tank that I bought at SeaWheeze last year and he likes it, but could care less for another. But damn, I would love to get him in some sweat pants.

As for the stores, they need to focus on fixing the internal and quality problems they have before opening men's specific stores.

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 7:59 am - I agree with you that picking up stuff for my husband and brother in a separate store will be a pain. Maybe they will co-locate them but I don't want to be traipsing to another part of the mall to visit the guy's section.

@ anon 8:00am - You bring up an excellent point about petites. I have two friends who are very well off and are loyal Athleta customers because of their petite bottoms. Lulu is leaving money on the table by not offering petite versions of their core items. You can hem Groove and Astro pants all you want but the rise doesn't work for petites and the leg flare hits in the wrong place.

Anonymous said...

I think they should have separate dressing rooms in the same store. I don't want a male employee grabbing me a different size in my bras nor do I want a guy giving me my bra inserts. It's uncomfortable and makes me not want to try on so much. They need to keep the men's clothing in the same store as the women. My hubby goes in with me but would not dare go in for himself and spend that much money. Also, my hubby is a fit 6'5 275. Lulu is too feminine for him. And honestly my man is rough on his clothes. When he's active he's thinking about the sport and I don't blame hm.

Anonymous said...

I work in finance and I have to say Lululemon is a running joke now especially among men. A ton of my female friends are hesitant to wear their lulu stuff that shows the logo. If guys were starting to feel ok about wearing lulu before the sheerness & CEO debacle, they certain are not now. They equate it with "pants that chicks like cuz they hide cellulite that ended up being sheer." It's so sad but this brand is a huge joke for now.

Eric said...

Blogger of LuluMen here:

I just don't think the idea of Mens only stores are a good idea at this time. In general the mens products are only about 1/4 of the women's stuff. How could you fill an entire store with only mens stuff?

I think they need to expand there mens selection, things that are unique and different compared to other brands. They missed out on a ton of items this year (like swim/surf).

Also create items which are geared towards mens sports. Like various undershirts or tops for skiing or under a hockey jersey for example. Also dropping some of the prices, maybe $49 should be the starting point for a mens metal tech instead of $64 as one example. Much more research should be done on current products to make sure all men like them. Finding out what men really like is important. Also bring back the Pacific Beach Hoodie, seriously nothing has compared to that superior item!

I think one the mens sales are at least 25-30% of total sales they might begin to open a few mens only shops. They might just be in big urban centres like Vancouver, LA, New York, Toronto as examples. They could also just create joined shops with the mens section on one half with separate entrance and change rooms for men (this would be cheaper). Also finding the correct staff for these mens shops would be more difficult. I know I would love to be a mens store manager.

Anonymous said...

It's weird that you say that LLL stuff is less generously cut for men, when clearly the women's stuff is super generous especially around the middle. All of these new tight across the chest, blousely through the torso tops are so clearly to accommodate wider, less athletic bodies. Anyway, there are plenty of men who care a lot a about the style over substance and displaying the logos on their clothes. I mean, it's sill to create a business that only serves 50% of the population if it doesn't have to.

Anonymous said...

I think it is a bad idea, I shop with my husband and we would rather just go to 1 store. My husband hates the high prices but the items he has are always first out of the closet. The fit works well for him because he is tall, small waist, and muscular shoulders. Most items are too baggy on the waist for him. I will try to check out the outlets for him because he is hard on his clothes.

Anonymous said...

I used to buy a lot for my husband as well. I'm an online-only lulu fan in a country with no stores, so it is not that he knew or cared for the brand (he does now because of the weekly charges he sees on the CC), but I tried to get him hooked on the technical features of the different lulu fabrics. It worked well for a while, and he liked his pieces a lot but then I realized he was NEVER going to be as careful with lulu clothes and I am. His pants pilled awfully, his Swiftly tech shirts snagged, holes here and there, color fading because he would throw his lulu in the regular washing cycle, with cottons and everything. After I pointed out how he should care for his lulu (stay away from rough surfaces, velcro, no backpack rubbing on his back, etc) and why ($$$), I noticed he never wore ANY lulu again! He went back his regular cotton T's and sports bottonms, which he can abuse and wash all together without a worry.... and me nagging him. That was the end of relationship with lululemon. He also disliked the logo on one side of the leg ("looks like a price sticker")

Anonymous said...

I have to chime in that while I think lulu is far away from being able to open a men's store, some men might appreciate the idea of their own storefront. I know that my husband has always been opposed to lululemon as it is feminine and kind of "froo froo" to him. (tradesmen, thinks his buddies would give him a hard time for wearing lulu). I think for this kind of image a stand alone store would help, it would showcase that these products are for men. But I think the price point is going to be an issue, and you can't lower men's prices and now the women's. So..not sure how it'll pan out.

Anonymous said...

I'm a guy who shop's lulu either by myself or with my lovely wife, and to me the unisex store makes sense. It's like a 2 for 1.

As a goofy guy I would much rather have the opinion of a female store staff and/or my wife as they really know what looks the best.

The technical stuff we guy get, no worries there.

Leave the small logo on the men's line alone! Its branding made the same. Nike does not have two logos. And the small logo on some of my items is great, I can wear more to work without screaming a big logo.

Stand alone mens store?? Meh, not a fan.

I would rather lulu first get their mens line expanded and more items with more color. (how many shades of friggin gray, black and blue do we need? Once you've done this....expand your current store with these new items.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

I really haven't payed much attention to the male side of lulu, I have seen a few guys at my run club wearing lulu bottoms, but these men seem very fashion conscious. The usual rugged guys at my gym would not go out of their way to pay premium prices for fashionable workout clothes.
I tend to buy lulu for function as well. I like to be comfortable and a lot of the lulu workout clothes are comfortable and have held out for me.


M

Anonymous said...

I would love if my boyfriend looked into Lulu for some good workout wear. The stuff he's wearing (basketball shorts and a cotton tee) don't do him any favors in terms of wicking away sweat and keeping him dry. Especially in hot yoga and crossfit. He makes fun of me (lovingly) for my slight obsession with Lulu and definitely thinks the price is ridiculous for clothes you are just going to sweat in (hey, I don't just sweat in mine...they are also casual wear too ;) ). I could NEVER see him shopping at a stand alone lulu or in the combined stores. He's not cheap by any means, but I just know he wouldn't justify $64 for tops and $64 for bottoms like I could for myself. I never see any guys in Lululemon at the gym and when I do I'm generally surprised. The few times I've seen guys wear Lulu (and I'm live in Orange County where Lulu is VERY popular with the female population) it is been out and about wearing the basic tee with jeans. As much as I'd LOVE my boyfriend to wear Lulu so we could be this cute little Lulu wearing couple ;) I know that he won't and I'm not going to push my workout clothes opinion on him. I sure as heck don't want him pushing cotton tees and mesh shorts on me! ;)