Why is Lululemon So Expensive? 7 Reasons Driving Price

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why is lululemon so expensive

Ever taken a look at the lululemon website and wondered — why is lululemon so expensive?

After all, it’s activewear we’re talking about. Not some leather boots or luxury handbags. Would you pay upwards of $100 for something you’ll be sweating in?

For the millions of brand loyalists, the answer is yes!

Lululemon is a well-known athleisure and yoga apparel brand that has gained popularity for its quality products and stylish designs.

Most notably, Lululemon has positioned itself to be the ‘go-to’ brand for women looking for a great pair of leggings.

If you are into athleisure wear, I think it’s safe to assume you’ve heard of the Lululemon Align leggings — you may even have a pair in your closet. Lululemon Leggings, for example, range from $88 – $138.

Let’s be honest, that is pricey for a pair of leggings, and yes, you could find a great pair of Fabletics leggings or Nordstrom leggings for less.

But with Lululemon, there is much more that you’re paying for than just leggings.

Lululemon

Lululemon’s humble beginnings started in 1998 inside a yoga studio in Vancouver, Canada.

The brand’s founder, Chip Wilson, started in the apparel business by designing clothing for surfers, skaters, and snowboarders in the late 70s.

A shift in markets left him selling his company and starting Lululemon at the turn of the century.

In 2003, the brand opened its first US store in Santa Monica, California. Now, with over 660 stores worldwide, Lululemon is a force in the athletic apparel industry.

There’s been a movement toward comfort. Everyone has experienced that. It’s really tough to go back to anything else.

Chip Wilson
why is lululemon so expensive

WHY LULULEMON IS SO EXPENSIVE

Lululemon is a popular athletic apparel brand known for its high-quality and fashionable products, particularly in the yoga and fitness market.

There are several factors that contribute to the relatively high prices of Lululemon products. Here are 7 reasons why lululemon is so expensive:

1. HIGH-QUALITY FABRICS AND DESIGN

Lululemon places emphasis on design and fit, resulting in well-tailored and fashionable activewear. Their attention to detail and craftsmanship can contribute to higher production costs.

The brand uses specialized fabrics in their activewear, such as Luon, Luxtreme, Nulu, and Everlux, which are designed to wick moisture, provide breathability, and offer a four-way stretch for optimal performance during workouts.

why is lululemon so popular

Lululemon does a lot of quality control before the product leaves for the stores. This requires a lot of overhead, therefore driving higher prices.

2. RETAIL EXPERIENCE

I remember stepping into my first Lululemon and feeling a little out of place. I wasn’t familiar with a lot of the products they carried and their reputation was a little intimidating.

The store was bright and the layout made it easy to navigate their inventory. The associates, known as educators, I came across were friendly and helped me with placing an order for an item they didn’t have available in the store.

lululemon stores near me

FIND A STORE NEAR YOU

Lululemon’s commitment to creating an inclusive shopping experience, whether you’re a first-time buyer or a loyal fan, is why customers continue to buy.

The brand understands that shopping experiences will greatly affect spending so they do a great job at making you feel good about purchasing from them.

3. HIGH RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT COSTS

Lululemon invests in extensive research and development to create innovative and performance-enhancing products.

This includes product testing and improvements to ensure they meet the demands and expectations of their customers.

Antonia Iamartino, Director of Future Concepts Lululemon
Antonia Iamartino, Director of Future Concepts, at work in the Whitespace innovation lab in Vancouver

Lululemon also invests in ingenious manufacturing processes and technology to create their products.

This includes features like seamless construction, specialized stitching, and precision-cut patterns, which contribute to their premium quality and add to production costs.

Another reason why lululemon so expensive.

4. LIMITED SALES AND DISCOUNTS

Lululemon can keep its prices high and at a premium by limiting the amount of discounts it offers.

Frequent sales can diminish a brand’s reputation. By limiting sales events and discounts, the brand can maintain the exclusivity and desirability of its products.

Also, less sales means a customer is willing to pay the full price for items in fear that the item will sell out thanks to Lulu’s limited-inventory model.

However, Lululemon does have a “we made too much” sales section on its site with discounted items.

5. HIGH MARKETING COSTS AND BRAND REPUTATION

Over the years, Lululemon has established itself as a premium activewear brand with a strong following (4.5 million followers on Instagram alone.) The brand’s reputation and perceived value allow them to command higher prices.

Lululemon invests heavily in marketing strategies and brand building to create a strong identity and reputation.

The brand partners with notable individuals in the yoga industry and influencers which help drive awareness and brand loyalty.

But getting popular influencers to wear and advocate for your brand comes at a high cost. Lululemon understands the value that these creators and celebrities bring to the brand and is willing to pay for it—ultimately trickling the cost down to you.

6. LIMITED SUPPLY AND HIGH DEMAND

Lululemon creates a sense of scarcity by limiting the supply of some products and leveraging high demand.

If you took economics in high school, you’re aware of how supply and demand can drive prices.

Less supply, more demand = higher prices

This is also why lululemon is expensive.

7. TARGETED DEMOGRAPHIC

Lululemon occasionally releases limited-edition collections or partners with designers or influencers, creating a sense of exclusivity and driving demand, which can justify higher prices.

Lululemon positions itself as a luxury athleisure brand, targeting a more affluent market demographic. Premium pricing can help maintain the brand’s image and exclusivity.

While Lululemon products may be more expensive than other athleisure brands, many consumers are willing to pay the premium price for the combination of quality, style, and the overall Lululemon experience.

And the trend is trickling down to younger generations.

According to a study on wealthy female teens, 17% of teens chose Lululemon as their favorite clothing brand. These Gen Z consumers are what will keep this athleisure brand at the forefront.

FAQ ABOUT LULULEMON

Lululemon’s focus on customer insights and product design has catapulted its popularity in the past few years.

With its attention to detail design and product functionality, lululemon has cemented its place as the go-to retailer for stylish activewear.

Lululemon is synonymous with a healthy and active lifestyle. Something their millennial and Gen Z consumers strive for and want to be a part of.

SOME LULULEMON BESTSELLERS

WHERE CAN YOU BUY LULULEMON?

You can buy lululemon apparel at shop.lululemon.com or one of their 660+ retail locations.

IS LULULEMON MADE IN CHINA?

Lululemon currently manufactures its products in several different locations including Canada, and the United States. Other countries include Peru, China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Israel, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Switzerland

HOW MUCH ARE LULULEMON LEGGINGS?

Lululemon leggings can run anywhere between $88 and $138.

The most popular Lululemon leggings are the Align leggings thanks to their buttery soft and weightless Nulu fabric.

The Align leggings are great for low-impact workouts like yoga or whenever you want to feel comfortable.

Which Lululemon has best compression?

The lululemon leggings with the best compression are the Wunder Train High-Rise Tight. Made from their fastest-drying Everlux fabric, these leggings are great for high-impact training.

Final Thoughts on Lululemon

Is Lululemon Worth the Price?

My answer is… it depends. If you are someone who takes their training seriously and is looking for activewear that will hold up and not lose its shape, then yes.

If you are only purchasing lululemon because everyone else is wearing it and it’s the famous brand to wear, then no.

I have found Amazon leggings at a fraction of the cost that are my most-worn pairs. They are just as buttery soft and really let me move — which I love.

Lululemon has proven to be a mainstay in athleisure wear and a brand that has lived up to its reputation. If they can continue the intense focus on quality control and nurture brand loyalists, they will continue to be one of the top athleisure wear brands in the world.

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