Lululemon Taps Burberry Veteran Elizabeth Binder as First Chief Merchandising Officer

Lululemon is bolstering its executive leadership with a brand new hire on its product team.

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based athleisure brand has tapped Elizabeth Binder to serve as its first chief merchandising officer. She starts Jan. 16, reporting to chief product officer Sun Choe.

Prior to Lululemon, Binder served as chief product officer of Boden, a UK-based global apparel company. Before that, she was SVP held merchandising roles J. Crew, Club Monaco and Ann Taylor.

The new executive hire marks Lululemon’s latest investment to bolster its expanding product team. In April, the brand added an SVP of footwear and a global creative director to its product team, both reporting to Choe as well.

Binder said she came to Lululemon because of its “commitment to people, and its leadership in product innovation” and said she sees potential to drive momentum across all categories. While Lululemon is likely best known for its athleisure apparel, such as leggings, the company has recently made a concerted effort to expand into new, fast-growing categories such as hiking, which rolled out in Q2, and women’s footwear, which launched in Q1. The brand will also launch men’s footwear at a later, unconfirmed date.

These product and category expansions are part of Lululemon’s “Power of Three ×2” strategy to double business from 2021’s net revenue of $6.25 billion to $12.5 billion by 2026. Expanding beyond its traditional core categories and capitalizing on pandemic-fueled trends within sports and movement is a key part of this plan.

Lululemon gave a disappointing update to its fourth quarter outlook at the ICR conference last week, as holiday sales come in weaker than expected. The company said it  projects Q4 net revenue to be between $2.660 billion to $2.700 billion, compared to a previously outlined range of $2.605 billion and $2.655 billion. Q4 diluted earnings per share are expected to be between $4.22 and $4.27, tighter and lower than the previously outlined range of $4.20 and $4.30. Gross margin in Q4 is expected to decline between 90 and 110 basis points.

While Lululemon typically caters to higher-income shoppers that have been less impacted overall by inflationary pressures, the company is still operating in a “challenging” external environment, CEO Calvin McDonald said last month.

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