“Largest Lululemon store in Asia” opens in Beijing

On 28 June, the Lululemon Sanlitun store in Beijing reopened in a larger location. It claimed to be the largest Asian store for the Canadian athletic apparel brand on 27 June by staff, but later official literature scaled it down to the largest store in Northern China.

Stretched across 3 floors, the store includes sections for yoga, running, training and casual to share the “sweatlife” with customers. The ground floor is mostly menswear and men’s accessories while women’s casualwear and accessories are on the first floor. The main draw, which is yoga and athletic wear for women, was of course, located on the top floor. Putting “growing” categories on lower floors and established items further up seems to adhere to the brand’s latest direction of trying to appeal to men.

For the opening, Lululemon invited artist Toi Ma Xiaomeng and traditional kite artisan Liu Bin to co-create two pieces for its installation, based on traditional craft for the store window and shop floor. 300 customers were invited to participate in a group yoga session on the second-floor terrace. The shop is the only one in Beijing that provides personalisation services, where you can have your name or pattern printed on your yoga mat or water bottle a day after purchase.

Faced with threats of “affordable alternatives” (平替), Lululemon has been doubling down on the experiences that cannot be replaced, such as community events like the yoga session and resonant celebrity endorsement with Jia Ling. By building its influencer and e-word-of-mouth marketing, it is interesting to see whether Lululemon can rally the sales in China. Since its net revenue only grew 3% in the US in Q1 2024, finding alternative markets globally has been one of Lululemon’s key strategies. It is only natural that Lululemon is eyeing expansion in China, the brand’s 2nd largest market after the US.


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