Thursday, January 5, 2012

Strike a Pose Westside : Lululemon Athletica Opening Soon

Vancouver, Canada-based lululemon athletica will soon add a second store to its Atlanta presence.  The popular yoga-wear company will open its second metro location later this summer in Jamestown Property's Westside Provisions District on Howell Mill Road.  Ironically, lululemon will open in place of GARDEN, a boutique landscape and garden design firm, that in November relocated to the Shops Around Lenox, home to Atlanta's other lululemon store
The new store is located adjacent to YEAH! Burger and close to both West Egg and Yoforia. Lululemon's first Atlanta store came in the form of a showroom on Highland Avenue in Morningside but it closed ahead of the original Buckhead opening on Roswell Road.  

The fact that lululemon is open on the Westside does not necessarily preclude them from opening in Ponce City Market, another Jamestown property, but I see as less likely given their proximity. Overall, lululemon operates about 150 stores between the U.S. and Canada.  

San Francisco, California-based Gap Inc. launched ATHLETA as an internet-only store in 2009 and opened their first bricks and mortar locations last year, one of which I had the chance to visit on the upper east side of New York. The stores are designed to resemble lululemon and attract a similar customer.

Currently the chain has nine stores open, with a tenth opening January 18th in Scarsdale, New York.   One of their recent stores opened at The Grove in L.A., one of my favorite projects.   While I have not heard definitive plans for Atlanta, I'd guess we are on their radar for future expansion. While Atlantic Station does currently have representation from all other Gap brands (Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy) I doubt they would open an ATHLETA store there.

Are you a fan of lululemon and are already awaiting their arrival on the westside?  Do you think ATHLETA should open a store in Atlanta?  Are lululemon athletica and ATHLETA fad brands or do they have staying power?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.  

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3 comments:

sheila said...

With the exception of their big city Canadian stores, which seem busy with (mostly) tourists, I don't really understand how Lululemon stays open. There's a tremendous amount of competition in this segment, lots of discounting and L just doesn't have really distinctive merchandise IMHO.

I would enjoy an Athleta store if for no other reason than to be able to see and feel their merch which has a tendency to have uneven quality and unpredictable sizing. They also carry a vibe of western (think Colorado) style that we don't see much here and that could be a oppty.

Title 9 is another athletic/outdoorsy women's online store that might do well here in the right spot. It's tough to compete with REI, though.

Erica J. (pureicedtea.com) said...

I don't think Lululemon stands much of a chance. There are too many stores that sell comparable quality clothing at lower prices. Unless they do more avant garde advertising and community events or something they'll get shut down.

Anonymous said...

They will most certainly survive. Lululemon clothing is far superior to anything else out on the market, Athlete & Title 9 included. Their styles are flattering, the quality is great, and they know how to flatter a woman's body. I'm super excited about a second location and just with they would open a store up in the North Atlanta area.