Photo: Edson Hong / Flickr
Gap’s Athleta brand adopted a marketing plan similar to Lululemon’s. Then, they started stalking Lululemon by opening locations next to the Canadian yoga retailer. Now, Athleta has taken things a step further and is actually poaching Lululemon’s staff by offering a better discount. Lululemon instructors get a 15 per cent discount on merchandise, while Athleta offers 30 per cent.
“That makes a big difference because the clothing is pretty expensive to begin with and yoga instructors don’t make a whole lot,” Carolyn Beauchesne, who operates the blog Lululemon Addict, told us in an interview. “It’s creating a lot of buzz.”
Both chains offer free public yoga and fitness events as a promotion to draw in new customers.
Sapna Maheshwari at Bloomberg Businessweek told the story of one yoga Lululemon’s yoga instructor’s brush with Athleta:
“Lori Burgwyn, a 47-year-old brand ambassador for Lululemon in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, said she buys athletic jackets, skirts and dresses at Athleta. Garments at the two brands hold up after multiple washes and uses, making them her two favourites for the gear, she said.
Approached by Lululemon months before it opened its store, Burgwyn said an Athleta store manager recently took a class at her studio and left cards with teachers highlighting the 30 per cent discount.”
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