Arts & Culture

Lululemon has effectively cornered the market on brand name yoga and runner’s wear.

Lululemon has effectively cornered the market on brand name yoga and runner's wear.
written by Rose Behar
October 28, 2011 1:00 pm

How? Why? And is it set on world domination?

Lululemon is an active wear behemoth.

Considering getting a sports top? Want some form-fitting, yet ultra-comfortable yoga pants? Your first choice, as a fashionable lady is, without a doubt, Lululemon.

You don’t really have to think about it. No other brand names pop in to your mind that convey both sport and trendiness so equally.

Not Nike – too Tiger. Not Adidas – too old school. TNA? Maybe, but it doesn’t have the same following as Lulu yet.

And that’s exactly what it is: a following. A devoted, religious following.

Why else would people convince themselves that the exorbitant prices are worth it? (I mean, $52 for a simple running tank top? Really?)

They believe Lululemon’s mandate, and you’ll see it if you Google their site: “We make technical athletic clothes.”

If you think about it, that claim is really nothing extraordinary — so do all active wear companies. But the followers I know would rip me to shreds for saying that. “No,” they would insist, “it’s different!”

In fact, I once went to a Lululemon with a runner friend who swears by the brand name. I was aghast at the prices, which were far past my student budget.

“It’s worth it,” she insisted, telling me that if I was serious about working out, these clothes were an investment that should be made.

I never did purchase anything, so I can’t be entirely sure she’s not right. But I have a feeling I’m happier, and richer, living outside the Lululemon bubble.

And this cult-ish behaviour does not simply permeate the Lulu buyers, it runs through the entire organization. In searching for a summer job, I handed a resumé to a store manager at Lulu. Without glancing at it, he looked me straight in the eyes and asked how committed I was to working there. “We’re really looking for people who are here to stay and eventually get promoted up through our middle management,” he said.

I was a little afraid – and also did not want to lie in the sacred house of Lulu – and told him I was only looking for a summer job.

I was quickly dismissed with a “Well, we’ll see if anything comes up.”

As much as I must admit that I do find Lulu-wear to be attractive and good-looking sporty stuff, it seems I’m destined not to be a Lulu-ite.

So where do I get my active wear, you may ask?

Wal-Mart, where a 3-pack of sports bras will only set you back $15. And that, my friends, is how it should be.

One comment on “Lululemon has effectively cornered the market on brand name yoga and runner’s wear.

  1. Stacey (from What Not to Wear) on

    I don’t really care how much money one shells out for this product. What I do care about is you wearing those outfits outside … in the streets … in public … on your way to work or class. My preference is not to see a young woman’s hoo-ha at 8am – I’m usually a morning person but that image has set me back

    Reply

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