Lululemon Testing Kids Concept in the U.S.

Discussion
Aug 15, 2012

Lululemon’s unique approach to yoga-inspired clothing has worked for moms, aunts and big sisters, so why not try younger kids? The Canadian chain is testing a concept called Ivivva Athletica with clothing that girls between six and 14 can wear to dance, gymnastics or yoga classes.

According to its website, "Ivivva is made for seriously active girls. All of our clothes are designed with input from dancers, gymnasts, ice skaters, movers and shakers. And we even have dance classes right in our stores every week."

The concept, which was originally developed in 2009, currently has seven stores in Canada. Here in the U.S., Ivivva has chosen to open five "showrooms" with smaller footprints, reduced hours and edited selections before going the full store route. The first U.S. showroom opened in New York City earlier this month and others are located in Boston, Chicago, the Seattle area and Southern California.

Discussion Questions: Do you see a significant market for Lululemon-like clothing for six to 14-year-old girls in the U.S.? What would you do if you were a retailer of kids’ dance or gymnastics clothing and you knew that Ivivva was coming your way?

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5 Comments on "Lululemon Testing Kids Concept in the U.S."


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Dick Seesel
Guest
9 years 9 months ago

I commented on ivivva a few years ago when BrainTrust panelists first discussed the test. It was a viable concept then, and it’s still a viable concept…the only surprise to me is the duration of the rollout.

However, it would be worthwhile to experiment with different formats, as long as Lululemon is still in test phase. In addition to small-footprint stores with narrow assortments, it would also be worth testing a larger “experiential” concept (think Build-a-Bear) that allows for more space for yoga or other kid-friendly physical activity.

Fabien Tiburce
Guest
Fabien Tiburce
9 years 9 months ago

Lululemon is the Apple of clothing. Well designed, aspirational and over-priced. If I were a retailer of kid’s clothing (and not just dance and gymnastics), I’d pull a “Samsung”… I would get “inspiration” from Apple’s design style while providing more value to shoppers who can’t afford to drop $50 on a pair of kid’s stretchy pants.

Bill Emerson
Guest
Bill Emerson
9 years 9 months ago

Given the success of Lululemon in capturing the adult market and building a loyal following, I would be very, very nervous.

Marge Laney
Guest
9 years 9 months ago

I think it’s a great move for Lululemon. Tween girls are active in dance and gymnastics and if mom is already a customer, it could translate well.

I do think price will be more of an issue since growing kids run through clothes faster than they wear out, so superior quality isn’t that big of a deal. But, offering classes and opportunities to connect with other girls like mom does at Lululemon is a great way to get them connected to the brand early on.

Hopefully, they’ll position the ivivva stores in close proximity to the Lululemon stores both on and offline which will up their exposure to their current customer base and make success more likely.

Anne Bieler
Guest
Anne Bieler
9 years 9 months ago

There is a good potential for Lululemon clothing in the US for younger girls. The clothing is well made, fits well and is durable — with a strong brand identity. To compete effectively, clothing should not only reflect younger tastes in color/style, the product quality has to be right on and value well communicated.

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