1 Not So Obvious Way Lululemon is Being Sneak Attacked

Here comes the army.

One way to win an already bloody war?  Find a new tactic that will surprise the entity being fought with such crazy effort.  In many respects, that’s precisely what Gap’s more rugged activewear brand Athleta has begun to execute on in its heated battle with the calmer, yoga centric Lululemon.  How so?  By offering very unique in-store workout classes each day, week after week.  Whereas Lululemon, according to its website “every week, Lululemon stores and showrooms push aside their products, unroll yoga mats, and turn their space into instant yoga studios”, Athleta’s scheduled class differentiation keeps its stores exciting.  Most importantly, it brings in consistent traffic of folks with likely different personal preferences, meaning the company has the opportunity to show that its products are more versatile compared to Lululemon.  More versatility, more value in the mind of the consumer.

Additionally, I believe this amped up approach to Athleta’s in-store workout events sets it up well for an eventual push into men’s, a product line that will continue to be an afterthought to Lululemon at least until 2015 when its first standalone store opens.

The growth in Crossfit, using one example, demonstrates pockets of emerging market type growth in the exercise industry that Athleta is trying to tap into.  You could almost reason it’s seeking to stay cool and relevant with fitness trends by bringing in trainers with new approaches to exercise programs.  Athleta is evolving, Lululemon not so much.

Twitter Share: Crossfit vs. Yoga


  • Over $100 million in revenue in 2013 through trainer certificates and licensing fees.
  • An estimated 6,000 certified Crossfit gyms exist worldwide.


  • Average participation rate now north of 20%.
  • Yoga industry grew to $6.9 billion in 2013, and is estimated to reach $8.1 billion by 2018.

Athleta 2


Athleta Union Square