Trendy yoga apparel retailer Lululemon has seen its third-quarter revenue skyrocket – in fact, it rose an incredible 84% since 2009. While the brand has 130 stores from China to Australia to its home base of Canada, 39 of them opened just last year. But the credit is mainly due to Lululemon’s e-commerce site, which also launched in 2009 – numbers have increased an estimated 200%, making up an estimated 10% of total sales, whereas stores open for over a year saw revenue increase only 51% (still an amazing number).
While Lululemon offers everyday free shipping, that small incentive definitely wouldn’t have caused the 200% increase. And its Web site doesn’t even offer lower prices than in-store. So what inspired this sudden success?
One recent factor could have been Oprah Winfrey — the media mogul touted the brand’s $98 relaxed-fit pants on her list of “Favorite Things,” only a few weeks ago, which likely accounted for a last-minute boost. “I’ve got to tell you, anything that cuts your butt in half should be your favorite thing too,” she said.
The store’s innovative and engaging web campaigns have certainly helped – its hysterical May ads announced a war against camel toes. (We don’t need to explain what those are or how awkward they can be during pilates class.) Most recent ads play on Roy Lichtenstein’s pop art, turning running models into a picture of pixels. Lululemon also sports an impressive e-following: one post on its branded blog can garner dozens of comments from readers and the Lululemon Facebook fan page has 272,153 followers.
Whether its staggering profit increase is from a strong web presence or flock of loyal followers, Lululemon is confident that sales will continue to skyrocket; “We believe that we are just scratching the surface in e-commerce,” concluded chief executive Christine Day.