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Eddie Bauer Makes Move to Yoga Market, Cramping Lululemon’s Style

in Business of Yoga, YD News

Because of the swift slope of the economy, it’s no surprise profits are down, even Lululemon’s, but the yoga/activewear market still seems to be sprouting.

With more people super stressing out in a recession, it appears yoga is the soother of choice.  But it’s a funny thing, “activewear” retailers don’t really have to depend on that, because also seeing a growth spurt is the group of people buying up the “activewear” dept to present the image of being “active” meanwhile they may have never even set foot in a yoga studio or gym. You may not be fit, but you can look it!eddie_bauer_yogapants

Trying to capitalize on that are your regulars – Lululemon and Lucy Activewear – the higher-end retailers promoting clothes for everyday wear hoping to sneak their way into casual lifestyle wardrobes (after all yoga is pushed as a “lifestyle” no?).  And then there are  companies like Eddie Bauer (J.Crew, Victoria’s Secret) that are actually developing, or have developed, separate depts to add yoga attire to the repertoire. –> that pic is of Eddie Bauer’s The Perfect Yoga Pant not lulu.

As  Sonya Cosentini, a spokeswoman for T.J. Maxx and Marshalls   (TJX Cos.)  says,

women aren’t buying the clothes to do just yoga — but “also other things like run errands or lounge around the house.”

“It’s all about comfort and finding dual uses for things in your wardrobe,” she said.

Lululemon probably doesn’t have to worry much about the lower end of the yoga clothes world like Target, Old Navy, etc. But when players like Eddie Bauer and the Gap/Athleta marriage come to break up the happy honeymoon, the market is a much tougher nut to crack. Competition can be a good thing, but not when it’s besot with dilution and cheaper knock-offs.

Yoga is still growing in the US evidently. For Eddie Bauer, they’re hoping to grow with it, putting yoga clothes in their 275 stores, and on their website.

Jennifer Black, a Lake Oswego, Ore., retail consultant who describes herself as a physically fit baby boomer, said she’s checked out Eddie Bauer’s yoga line and likes it.

“The fabrics are really nice, and they hold you in,” she said. “For someone who wants that lululemon look but doesn’t want to spend that kind of money, it’s a good compromise.

Hmm..Lulus might want to push that April e-commerce launch even sooner. How’s tomorrow?

Eddie Bauer sells four styles of women’s yoga pants for between $49.50 and $64.50, tank tops for $29.50 to $44.50, and jackets for $59.50 or $64.50.

Eddie Bauer aims for yoga practitioners with new clothing line [Seattle Times]

3 comments… add one

  • I wonder if there will really ever be a site for yoga clothing for men. I do not mean, the odd tee shirt and trousers. Most sites seem to have a ‘men as an afterthought’ page.

  • admin

    @ Alec I think we’ll be seeing that very soon.
    The topic came up a few weeks ago in our post What Does A Man Where to Yoga Class? The NY Times mentioned the lack of boutique-y men’s yoga stores, but it sounds like all you’re really asking is for these retailers to spend a little time thinking about the male yogi’s needs.
    The question we floated was whether or not there’s a big enough market for guy’s boutique-y yoga clothes, or in other words…do guys care all that much about what they wear? And it sounds like you do, but would you pay for special yoga wear? and how many other guys would? Is what the retailers might be wondering. Another market is kids yoga wear… but they seem pretty happy in pajamas.

  • Andrew

    Hmm…I think companies would make Yoga clothing for men if there was a market, but I’m not sure there is. Eddie Bauer is smart to get into this market…there are only a few (but good) companies playing in this space currently.

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