In response to rivals, Lululemon to open store with workout rooms, food and meditation space
|Toronto Star 01 May 2019 at 13:00|
CHICAGO—Lululemon plans to open a first-of-its-kind flagship store in Chicago, offering food, drinks, yoga classes, a meditation room —and, yes, workout apparel for sale —when it opens in the Lincoln Park area in July.
The 20,000-square-foot “experiential store” will become Lululemon’s prototype for big stores offering an array of yoga classes and other activities. Such flagships eventually could make up 10 percent of the Canadian retailer’s stores, CEO Calvin McDonald said during an April 24 event with retail analysts.
Lululemon plans to open a 20,000-square-foot "experiential store" in July at the corner of North and Sheffield avenues in Chicago s Lincoln Park area. (Phil Velasquez / TNS)
Vancouver-based Lululemon did not specify the location to analysts, according to a transcript of the event, but the Tribune reported last May that Lululemon was planning a store at 938 W. North Ave., which is in the Lincoln Park community area and the Ranch Triangle neighborhood. A construction permit issued by the city at the time indicated the space would include a restaurant and workout space.
A Lululemon spokeswoman declined to comment on plans for the Chicago flagship.
Although Lululemon is best known for women’s yoga apparel, the 21-year-old brand looks to expand its offerings, including plans to start selling shoes, and attract more male customers.
New store formats are part of the company’s attempt to broaden its reach in North America, as well as its push into Europe and Asia. Lululemon also is trying new concepts in response to intense competition from rivals offering yoga and workout attire.
By 2023, 10 percent of all Lululemon stores will be “experiential,” like the one under construction in Chicago, McDonald told analysts, according to a transcript of the event.
There will be two workout studios offering six to 10 classes per day, a meditation area and a “fuel space” selling coffee, juice, smoothies and breakfast bowls, Lululemon executive Celeste Burgoyne told analysts.
The North Avenue building is owned by Rye, N.Y.-based Acadia Realty Trust and New York-based Jenel Management Corp., which paid $20 million for it in 2013. The owners last year completed renovations to the building’s exterior. Interior construction is ongoing on Lululemon’s store space.