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Lululemon’s Shoe Line Doesn’t Launch for Another Year — Yet It Ranks Among Teens’ Favorite Footwear Brands

Lululemon’s inaugural shoe line doesn’t launch for another year — but the brand already ranks among teenagers’ favorite footwear labels.

That’s according to Piper Sandler’s biannual “Taking Stock With Teens” report, which surveyed about 7,000 people across 47 states. The investment banking firm revealed that the Canada-based chain showed up in the ninth place in its ranking of upper-income teens’ favorite athletic footwear brands. (Nike and Adidas took the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, respectively, while New Balance and Under Armour tied for third and Brooks was fifth.)

At its fourth-quarter earnings conference call with analysts last week, Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald said the company would begin selling its first footwear collection in early 2022. According to the company, the team has been developing an in-house shoe range following the success of its collaboration with sneaker label APL, which launched in August 2017.

“We tested, and we learned a lot on footwear, and what we learned is: The guest resonates with us selling [shoes],” McDonald said at the athletic apparel firm’s investor day two years ago. “We believe we’ve identified an opportunity that will be unique to us and unique within the marketplace.”

Piper Sandler’s survey also showed that Lululemon was the No. 4 preferred apparel brand — at a 4% share among teenagers, moving up from the sixth slot at a 3% share in the prior year period. Upper-income female consumers placed it at No. 2, behind California-based lifestyle brand PacSun. On the other hand, upper-income male shoppers put it at No. 10, versus No. 7 last year.

While its women’s business grew by nearly 20% in the three months ended Jan. 31, Lululemon also aims to more than double the size of its men’s revenues by 2023 as part of its “Power of Three” plan, unveiled at that April 2019 investor day. (In addition, the brand plans to more than double its digital revenues and quadruple its international sales in that same timeframe.)

“The foundational strategies of our ‘Power of Three’ growth plan remain unchanged and continue to drive the innovation across the business,” McDonald added in last week’s conference call.

In its report, Piper Sandler shared that teens expect to spend about $2,165 this year — down roughly 5% from the previous year. Still, that marks a 1% gain from the fall, when teen spending hit a two-decade low amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Footwear spending, in particular, amounted to $270 a year — a year-over-year decline of 5%. Although that drop was attributed to a decrease in male spend (while female spend was stable), male teenagers are still said to be outspending their female counterparts by nearly $70.

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