lululemon opened its largest, most experiential store to date, a two-level, more than 20,000-square foot location in Chicago’s upscale Lincoln Park neighborhood.
In addition to a massive array of lululemon’s signature yoga-inspired merchandise, the store includes the company’s first-ever restaurant, three exercise studios, a meditation room, and a lounge/workspace.
The first level of the store is dedicated to women’s items, including its new personal care line. The second level features the brand’s men’s assortment along with a meditation studio, yoga studio and high-intensity workout studio.
In an unusual twist, studio customers can wear select lululemon workout items to give the product a try before buying an unworn version of the item. All items are washes between uses.
The second level is home to lululemon’s first-ever restaurant, “Fuel,” which serves up a variety of healthy beverages, food and snacks, including grab-and-go items. Wine, beer and cocktails are also available.
“This store captures who we are as a brand as it will embody the Sweatlife,” lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald said on a recent earnings call with analysts in advance of the store’s opening. “This distinct environment will provide us additional opportunities to explore and learn as we connect with our guests in a range of new and exciting ways.”
How well has the new store connected with increasingly fickle and experience-driven consumers? Early results point to a rousing success.
Placer.ai, a Silicon Valley-based foot traffic analytics platform, analyzed the Chicago flagship’s store traffic over the early going and reports that lululemon enjoyed a combined 5,000 visits over its first two weeks.
“Comparing the new branch with an existing strong Chicago performer shows all of the signs of a powerhouse,” Placer.ai reported in a recent blog. The new branch managed to drive visits in off-hours with major increases in the percentage of visitors in the morning and evening. It also showed a greater proclivity for driving traffic during weekdays and off-peak shopping days.
“It demonstrated a capacity to keep visitors in the location longer thereby increasing earning potential. Visitors to the new branch spent 16% more time in the location than at the other high performing site. This difference is massive not just for the extended abilities to drive revenue, but also in deepening the relationship between lululemon and its customers.”