has one hope for expansion: men. The company is in flux a day after CEO Christine Day announced she was stepping down following a major recall of yoga pants for being too sheer.
Since then, shares have been plunging on criticism that investors overestimated the company’s ability to expand.
But men present a huge opportunity for Lululemon, said Brian Sozzi, chief equities strategist at Belus Capital Advisors.
“The next opportunity is menswear, and it has to be menswear, because there’s only so much women’s product you can sell,” Sozzi told us in a telephone interview. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the next CEO was a man for this reason.”
The company knows that men present a big growth opportunity. Less than two years ago, menswear made up 8% of Lululemon’s revenue, a figure it hopes to more than double in the next several years, according to MSN Money.
Lululemon currently offers cycling, running, and yoga clothing and has gained some ardent fans.
“Most of what I wear is casual, but it never quite fit me right and fell apart after a few months,” Lewis told Business Insider. “That all changed when I found Lululemon. It’s totally worth the investment.”
Lewis estimates that he’s spent around $7,000 on the clothing.
“Lululemon is a brand that I’m passionate about, and I’m finding other men who also love the way the clothing fits,” he told us.
His blog has an impressive 150,000 page views to date.
Hilary Phelps, a certified yoga instructor and founder of the website Genuine Joy, said she’s noticed a huge uptick in men practicing yoga.
“The men tend to wear running shorts, t-shirts or cut off sweat pants,” Phelps told us. “I imagine as the number of men who partake in yoga increases, so too will their interest in the yoga-specific clothes and brand.”
Sozzi said that Lululemon could take a number of steps to better appeal to men.
“Brands like Under Armour and Nike spend tons of money using professional athletes to better appeal to men,” Sozzi said. “Lululemon has relied on word-of-mouth so far, but it takes marketing to really get men in stores.”
Sozzi also said that the brand might need to change its name and logo to be less feminine.
“The name doesn’t sound masculine, which might be off-putting to men,” he said. “What Lululemon needs to do is give men a reason to spend way more than what they could buy at Target.”
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