Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a Placer.ai account? Log In

Placer Bytes: Lululemon and Athleta Q1 2022 Update

by 
Shira Petrack
 on 
April 13, 2022
Placer Bytes: Lululemon and Athleta Q1 2022 Update

Last year, foot traffic to Lululemon and Athleta consistently outpaced 2019 levels, buoyed by the growing interest in health and wellness and the rising demand for comfortable clothes. With Q1 2022 behind us, and on the heels of Lululemon’s recent footwear launch, we dove back into the data to understand how this year is shaping up for these two athleisure category leaders. 

Lululemon 

The company that started out making yoga-focused apparel for women has consistently pushed the envelope to expand its product lines and target markets, and these efforts seem to be paying off. In 2014, Lululemon first introduced its menswear line, which has since become an important and fast-growing source of revenue for the company. Then, after arguably pioneering the athleisure category and liberating athletic-wear from the confines of the gym or studio, Lululemon set out to normalize “workleisure” apparel and push its products into even more spaces through its “Office Travel Commute” collection. 

All these contributed to a strong 2021 for Lululemon, and it looks like growth is on track to continue in 2022. As people slowly leave their sweatpants to return to the office and other social obligations, apparel that can both look professional and feel good is in high demand – and Lululemon is reaping the benefits. 

Despite the resurgence of COVID in January and February, Lululemon’s foot traffic numbers remained robust, with both overall monthly visits and monthly visits per venue numbers significantly higher than they were in 2019. Visit growth did slow down slightly in March, with year-over-three-year (Yo3Y) overall visits up by only 5.8% and visits per venue down by 1.1%. But given the wider context of inflation negatively affecting consumer spending, even these somewhat weaker March metrics are a testament to Lululemon’s current strength. 

It is also important to note that the March visit numbers have yet to reflect the impact of the brand’s recently released footwear line, which represents the company’s first foray into the world of performance footwear. The brand’s “Blissfeel” sneakers, which became available on March 22, 2022, are one of four styles designed specifically for women, with the other three styles scheduled to launch in the fall and summer. A men’s line is planned for 2023. We will continue to monitor the brand’s offline traffic to assess the impact of this new venture. 

Athleta 

Like Lululemon, Athleta has been operating in the athleisure and “workleisure” space for quite a while, and has also benefited from the recent emphasis on apparel comfort and functionality. But whereas Lululemon’s current strategy involves ramping up its international presence, Athleta’s expansion is focused more on the North American market. As such, the company has opened 28 stores in 2021 – including two new stores in Canada – on top of the 9 new stores opened in 2020. 

Athleta’s larger store fleet has provided a long-term boost to its overall visit numbers. After 2021’s 12 straight months of solid Yo2Y visit growth, Athleta started off 2022 strong, with monthly visits in January, February, and March up 35.5%, 39.2%, and 33.2%, respectively, when compared to the same months in 2019. But monthly visits per venue have fallen, with average foot traffic per store around 12% lower than it was in 2019. The decline is likely due to the difficult circumstances of the wider retail sector saw in Q1, as consumers went directly from dealing with a surge in COVID cases to dealing with a surge in inflation and gas prices.

Increased Competition 

Some of the fall in foot traffic may also have to do with increased competition in the athleisure space. A look at the rise in cross-shopping from Athleta and Lululemon to Dick’s Sporting Goods illustrates this trend. Dick’s Sporting Goods launched Calia, its first private athleisure label, in 2015 in partnership with Carrie Underwood. In 2019, the retailer added a new brand, DSG, to capitalize on the success of its women-focused products. And in March 2021, Dick’s introduced a private men’s athleisure line, under the label VRST.

Since 2017, the share of Lululemon and Athleta shoppers who also shop at Dick’s has been steadily growing. Even if part of the increase in cross-shopping with Dick’s is due to the wide variety of products offered under the Dick’s umbrella, the retailer’s expanded men’s and women’s athleisure lines is probably winning at least some Lululemon and Athleta shoppers over. 

Over the past several years, Gap Inc. has marketed Athleta as a value-driven brand committed to sustainability. Athleta also emphasizes its focus on women and women’s wellbeing; the brand, which has recently partnered with several high profile female athletes and celebrities such as Simone Biles and Alicia Keys, does not carry a men’s line. Meanwhile, Lululemon’s foray into footwear reveals that the brand may be interested in competing more directly with classic sporting goods retailers, such as Dick’s, that have encroached on the Canadian company’s athleisure turf. Given the overall growth in visits across the three retailers, it seems that there is more than enough athleisure demand to go around. 

For more data-driven retail insights, visit our blog

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Placer.ai Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Recapping Valentine’s Day 2024 Foot Traffic Trends
Fitness: A Strong Start to 2024
Dutch Bros. Continues To Percolate Visits
Super Bowl 2024: Placer.ai’s Postgame Foot Traffic Analysis
CAVA & sweetgreen Are On the Rise
Hats Off For Off-Price
Who Is Shopping at Malls?
Drilling Down Into Home Improvement
Walmart, Target, Costco & Superstore Space 2023 Recap
Catching Up With Shake Shack and Wingstop
Something To Chew On: Demographic Shifts at Steakhouse Chains
Placer.ai Office Index: Looking Back at 2023
Recapping RBI & Yum! Brands’ 2023 Foot Traffic Performance
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – January 2024
Who Shops at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters?
Three Taco Chains to Watch in 2024
Starbucks and Dunkin’: 2023 in Four Data Points
Who Visits CVS and Walgreens?
Fashionably Frugal: Apparel in 2023
Catching Up With Fast Food
The Grocery Sector in 2023: An End-of-Year Recap
3 Mall & Shopping Center Trends for 2024
Bakery Chains Rising To The Top
Placer.ai and Esri Partner to Deliver Geospatial Analytics
Tampa Tourism Trends
Going For The Green: The Changing Dynamics Of Country Clubs
Christmas Day Dining Recap
Major Urban Shopping Districts – Holiday Season Recap
Placer.ai Office Index: December 2023 Recap
Recapping the 2023 Holiday Shopping Season
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – December 2023
7 Retail & Dining Segments to Watch in 2024
Diving Into Holiday Season Favorites
Super Saturday and Christmas Eve Eve: A Winning Combination
3 Budget Grocery Chains Finishing 2023 On a High Note
Making It In America: International Chicken Chains Bring The Heat
Domestic Tourism at a Glance: A Q3 2023 Roundup
Five Pizza Chains On The Rise
Jewelry Brands Taking Advantage of the DTC Opportunity
Secondhand News: Kids' Thrift Shops
Recapping 2023’s Dining M&As
MetLife Stadium Kicks Off Football Season
Placer.ai Office Index: November 2023 Recap
Small Coffee Chains Brewing Big Success
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – November 2023
Thanksgiving Travel 2023 Recap
Checking in With Nike and Lululemon
Black Friday 2023 Retail Recap
Starbucks’ 2023 Holiday Menu & Red Cup Day Performance
Turkey Wednesday 2023
Who Attended the 2023 Pickleball Championship? 
Three Surprising Holiday Shopping Trends
What’s in Store for Ulta Beauty This Holiday Season?
Best Buy and Department Stores: A Holiday Deep Dive
Discount & Dollar Stores: Strength Toward The End of the Year
The State of Off-Price Retail: Discounts Seal The Deal
Placer Mall Index Recap: October 2023
Placer.ai Office Index: October 2023 Recap
Retail Corridors Ahead of the 2023 Holiday Season
California, Here Gap Comes
Checking in With Home Improvement
Getting Into the Glasses Game: Warby Parker Takes Over
Fitness Positioned for a Strong 2023 Finish
White Paper Recap: October 2023
Coffee Giants Brewing Up Business
Popeyes and Burger King Lead the Way
Diving into Yum!
Looking Ahead to Black Friday 2023
Blockbusters Drive Movie Theater Comeback
Crocs and Boot Barn: Shoe-Ins for Success
McDonald’s and Chipotle's Winning Recipe
The State Of Steak: Checking in With Texas Roadhouse
Pleasant Pastimes: Pickleball Potential Proves Potent
Who’s Driving Downtown Manhattan’s Weekend Revival?
Diving into Downtown Manhattan Foot Traffic Trends
Rite Aid: Rightsizing Right
Major League Soccer: Its Die-Hard and Casual Fans
The Anchor Recap: September 2023
Placer.ai Office Index: September 2023 Recap
Placer Mall Index Recap: September 2023
September White Paper Recap
The Consumer Habits of College Students
JCPenney: Rightsizing and Revitalizing
Pent-Up Demand Ahead of October Sales Events
4 Strategies Retailers are Using to Drive Traffic to Their Venues
5 Key Regional Grocery Players Impressing in 2023
Upscale Kitchenware Trending Up
Costco Finds More Room for Growth
Four C-Store Chains Making an A-Grade
National Parks + Outdoor Summer Activities
Diving Into Darden: Summer 2023 Update
The Summer Event Effect
Messi: Massive in Miami
Looking Back on Back to School 2023
The Anchor Recap: August 2023
Placer.ai Office Index: August 2023 Recap
Placer.ai Mall Index: August 2023 Recap
Placer.ai White Paper Recap: August 2023
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Strikes Again
Big Scoop: We All Scream For Ice Cream