What stigma? Lululemon has a lot of men wearing a lot of its clothes

When Scott Fauble crossed the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, clocking 2 hours, 8 minutes and 52 seconds to become the fastest American in the race, he was wearing a Lululemon tank top he bought himself , without sponsorship.

Fauble, touted by Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald at the company’s analyst day on Wednesday, is just one of the men the company has attracted in recent years, overcoming skepticism that its reputation as a selling yoga pants to women would prevent it from resonating with a male audience. .

It seems like a lot of guys are wearing Lululemon these days, whether they’re running marathons or walking the dog. The company now generates a third of its more than $6 billion revenue from its men’s business, which grew 61% last year, eclipsing the 37% growth in its women’s business.

This assumes there are more men that Lululemon can turn into customers. The company said Wednesday it plans to double the size of its men’s business to more than $3 billion in revenue by 2026, after hitting its previous growth target two years earlier. If he can do that, it would make the men’s business bigger than the overall women’s business in 2020, McDonald said.

Since launching its menswear business in 2014, the brand’s gateway for many men has been a pair of ABC pants, which stand for “anti-ball crushing” and allegedly use an ergonomic gusset to take the strain off the waist. crotch of the pants. It sells for $128.

“Our ABC pants are a great example of how we’re bringing in a lot of male guests to the brand,” Sun Choe, product manager at Lululemon, said Wednesday. “We see continued demand for this style as our customers seek versatility and mobility, and don’t want to compromise on aesthetics, especially when returning to the office.”

The company, which has benefited from the shift to stretchy waistbands and other comfortable garments during the pandemic, is now trying to stay relevant to customers returning to their cabins. It expanded its range, including office wear like blazers, button-down shirts and polo shirts.

Zach Cruz, who works in finance in Florida, started shopping at Lululemon in 2015. He now has more than 100 pieces: shorts, t-shirts and hoodies, as well as blazers, socks and bags. “I could wear the same outfit to the gym, to work, and do anything,” Cruz, 36, said.

Lululemon is also looking to partner with more athletes, in order to gain visibility and credibility with men. The Vancouver-based company was the official supplier of the Canadian Olympic team this year. This signed his first contract with a golfer this week, bringing in former NBA player and current college JR Smith as a brand ambassador. Lululemon recently launched a golf collection, hoping to appeal to the 25% of its male customers who play.

“Lululemon has done a good job of breaking into men’s, both active and casual with their ABC pants,” said BMO Capital analyst Simeon Siegal. “They clearly expect more leeway with their expectations of doubling down from here.”

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