Lululemon Is Getting More Popular With Teens — And That’s a Big Deal Ahead of its Footwear Launch

Athletic wear remains hot among teenagers — and Lululemon appears to be reaping the benefits.

The Vancouver, Can.-based athleisure brand hit its highest-ever placement on Piper Jaffray’s semiannual “Taking Stock With Teens” survey, released yesterday — jumping four spots to No. 7 from No. 11 last fall.

With respect to apparel and footwear, Piper Jaffray’s survey of 9,500 U.S. teens with an average age of 15.8 years showed a general trend toward athleticwear and away from preppier styles. Nike nabbed the No. 1 spot on both the apparel and footwear lists, with 23% and 42% of respondents reporting the Swoosh on top in the respective categories. Adidas ranked No. 3 on both lists and was named as the top clothing brand by 6% and top shoe brand by 13% of those surveyed.

As part of a five-year growth strategy, Lululemon is entering the footwear market, with plans for an in-house range, following a successful collab with APL.

“We tested, and we learned a lot on footwear, and what we learned is: The guest resonates with us selling footwear,” CEO Calvin McDonald said in April. “We believe we’ve identified an opportunity that will be unique to us and unique within the marketplace.”

The addition of trainers could be another way for the label to tap into the teenage market. Sneaker brands dominated the footwear category of Piper Jaffray’s survey, nabbing every spot in the top 5.

Still footwear is just one piece of Lululemon’s growth strategy: The brand also has plans to expand into personal care. The expected add-ons come amid a push to be more of a lifestyle than athleisure brand, with expansions in its general accessories offerings and a rise in its office wear and intimates categories.

The label aims to double the sales of its men’s and online business as well as quadruple its global revenues in the next five years. As part of the restructuring, the company is shutting down its Ivivva kids’ stores and pushing the youth imprint online.

While the Piper Jaffray survey showed a rise in popularity among athleisure brands, the outlook wasn’t entirely positive: Teen spending fell to its lowest rate since fall 2011. Per the study, teens spent a self-reported average of $2,400 per year, a year-over-year drop of 4%”

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