Lululemon is changing the way it sells pants — to organise them by fit (or “sensation”) instead of silhouette — so its customers will be less confused about which attire to purchase for different activities.
“What it gives to our guest is ultimately choice and the ability to choose a way that they want to feel in a given activity,” Antonia Iamartino, Lululemon’s design director of future concepts, told Business Insider.
Lululemon used to simply organise its pant wall by silhouette, going from tightest to loosest. The company will now explain the selling points of each garment for different activities.
The company’s pants usually cost about $US98, significantly more expensive than similar athleisure brands like Athleta and Under Armour. With mounting competition, Lululemon has to make a case for why customers should shell out for its attire.
Iamartino said customers are often confused about how their pants should fit and will buy sizes that are too big. The new merchandising strategy is an attempt to make customers more satisfied with their decisions after they leave the store and start wearing the pants.
Lululemon is calling the new categories “hugged, naked, relaxed, tight, and held in.”
Here’s the brand’s explanation for each of the fits:
Hugged: Form-fitting but not skintight. One of Lululemon’s classic pants. Good for exercises like barre.
Naked: Designed to fit very tightly. Ideal for yoga.
Relaxed: Loose-fitting and comfortable. Works for both inside and outside the gym.
Tight: Hugs skin tight. Ideal for running and providing additional support.
Held-in: Slimming. Sucks in the stomach, hips, butt, and thighs.
Lululemon is credited with inventing the concept of athleisure, in which people wear athletic clothing as casual wear. It faces rising competition.
Under Armour has been an obvious competitor for sometime with its female-friendly ad campaigns starring Misty Copeland. Dick’s Sporting Goods launched a label to compete with Lululemon. Levi’s, who won’t budge or sell anything but jeans, has tried to compete by selling more “comfortable” jeans.
Strategies like clearly explaining the performance qualities of its pants will help Lululemon stay on top of the competition.
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