lululemon Enters Into the Footwear Market
lululemon is venturing into footwear, marking a new product category for the maker of leggings and sports bras, and deepening its rivalry with giants Nike and Adidas. The company’s first-ever running shoe for women, called Blissfeel, will be available to purchase starting March 22 in select markets across North America, Mainland China and the United Kingdom. The running shoes will retail for $148. The launch marks Lululemon’s official foray into the sneaker category. lululemon said it’s aiming to launch a men’s footwear collection next year, at which point it will expand its selection for women with special-edition shoes and seasonal sneakers.
Total Retail's Take: lululemon is tapping into a growing category that has long been a target for the athletic brand. In the process, it hopes to take market share away from two of its biggest competitors, Nike and Adidas. Athletic footwear sales in the United States grew 17 percent for men and 24 percent for women in 2021 compared with 2020 levels, according to data from market research firm NPD Group. This growth is attributed in some part to consumers picking up running or opting for more comfortable shoes while working from home during the pandemic. lululemon is betting on that trend continuing as it plans to invest further into the footwear category. Footwear is the natural next progression for the athletic apparel brand.