Laurent Potdevin, who was recruited to revive the company's fortunes
after an embarrassing recall and supply chain issues last year
raised questions about growth prospects, made the comments in
Vancouver at the retailer's analyst day.
He said the company's casual wear, which uses many of the fabrics
and technology developed for its yoga gear, would become a key
component of its growth.
Lululemon's push into other product lines comes as it faces stiffer
competition in the niche market it once dominated.
The company, which eschews traditional advertising for word-of-mouth
branding, recently launched a limited collection of casual fitness
wear called "&Go" to test demand.
"The recent success of our &Go capsule, which I'm sure you've seen,
speaks to the elasticity of the brand," said Potdevin during his
"This lifestyle product collection resonated with our guests
exceptionally well and will become an important part of our
But Vancouver-based Lululemon, which opened its first European store
in London earlier this month as part of its international drive, is
still dealing with the fallout from last year's recall of yoga pants
that proved too see-through.
The company, which once boasted same-store sales growth of more than
30 percent, reported its first decline in quarterly comparable sales
since 2009 last month, hit by weak post-Christmas holiday sales.
The company's rapid growth in recent years, combined with its March
2013 recall, caused supply chain issues last year. Delivery problems
of products to stores and an overhaul of the company's quality
control have hampered performance.
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The problems, combined with comments by the company's founder that
some women's bodies "don't work" for its yoga pants, put a blemish
on the company's feel-good, inspirational image.
Still, Potdevin said sales at the new London store, key to the
company's plans to accelerate its European roll-out, were exceeding
its target by 60 percent.
He sought to reassure analysts that Lululemon was focused on making
sure its infrastructure could support its expansion plans, bring
products to stores more quickly, and still be efficient enough to
maintain strong margins.
Executives on Thursday repeatedly underscored Lulu's role in
creating what became an extremely hot market as it presented some of
its new products, which included samples of its growing men's and
young girls collections.
Potdevin said its men's line could eventually become a
billion-dollar business and its Ivivva stores for young girls had a
half billion-dollar potential. The standalone Ivivva stores were
currently seeing sales of $900 a square foot, with double-digit
comparable-store sales growth, executives said.
(Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Matthew Lewis)
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