Lululemon Leverages Online Growth

With online growth surging, athletic apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica is starting to leverage its digital and omnichannel opportunities with an RFID rollout and website redesign.

Lululemon's second quarter total net revenue rose 16% over the second quarter of 2014, to $453 million up from $390.7 million. The company delivered an 11% global com­bined comp, which includes a 35% growth online. ­­ Lululemon claimed the No. 1 spot in RIS News'Top 10 Specialty Retailers report this year, thanks to improvements year-over-year in stock price and CEO rating metrics. 

Looking forward, Lululemon's RFID rollout is expected to be completed by the end of Q3.

"The successful implementation of this project not only enabled seamless inventory management and labor settings in the store, but most importantly will also unlock the potential for unique guest experience across channels," said Lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin. 

The clothing retailer is also making another key strategic investment with the redesign of its website, which will more aesthetically showcase the brand. Lululemon recently welcomed Miguel Almeida to lead its global digital transformation as its new Executive Vice President, Digital.

"With Miguel coming on-board and as we prioritize our digital initiative for the remainder of the year, we have decided to launch our new Web site in Q1 of 2016. This shift in timing allows us to free-up some bandwidth to focus on optimizing traffic and conversion on our current platform at a critical time of the year. It also creates more runway to fully leverage the new site design when we launch early next year," said Potdevin.

The company is also making supply chain capital investments. According to Potdevin, this year’s investments in Lululemon's product engine and supply chain are creating the solid foundation to support long-term growth plans.

"The complexity of building a global scalable infrastructure, while expanding product offering and geographic footprint has created near-term pressure to gross margin. We have enhanced our current teams with additional resources and are laser focused on this short-term issue," noted Potdevin.