Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Lululemon to Shutter Ivivva Store at Lenox Square, Nearly 40 Company-wide

Ivivva plans to close their only retail store in Atlanta.
Vancouver based lululemon athletica recently announced plans to shutter most of their ivivva stores which carry the company's pre-teen (girls 6-12) targeted clothing line.  

Ivivva, which was first introduced in 2009 under then CEO Christine Day, was first tested in the company's home market of Canada before being expanding to dozens of showrooms and stores across North America starting in 2012.  

Ivivva sold $44 tank tops and $78 hoodies and was meant to appeal to a wider range of sport activities (think dance, figure skating, track and field, and soccer) than its parent company. 

First introduced as ivivva athletica, the brand was later shortened to simply ivivva. More recently the brand adopted another positioning, "ivivva by lululemon."  Oftentimes a new brand/division will join its brand with its parent organization (i.e. 365 by Whole Foods Market), later shedding the dual branding once it makes a name for itself. For ivivva to have done the opposite leads me to believe the brand had difficulty establishing itself on its own, later adding the lululemon branding for credibility and awareness in hopes of finding success from the "halo effect" of their association.  

In Atlanta, the company previously operated showrooms in Dunwoody and Alpharetta, both of which have closed.  The company's lone full-line store in metro Atlanta opened last March in Lenox Square.  

The store, which was located on the second floor of the Buckhead mall and opened last March, took over space previously occupied by bankrupt footwear retailer Bakers. The 2,333 square foot space is located near Mori Luggage & Gifts, adjacent to where I revealed earlier today that new to market men's retailer JUNK de LUXE plans to open in September. 

Lululemon said that it would close about 40 of the company's 55 ivivva stores and convert half of the remaining stores to Lululemon stores. It will also close all of the ivivva showrooms and other temporary locations.  Lululemon promised it would continue to sell ivivva merchandise online, as well as in the eight remaining physical stores, although it did not disclose their locations.

A store employee at the Lenox Square store confirmed their store is closing and indicated to me that their last day in business will be Sunday August 20th.       

Today, lululemon operates six stores in Georgia including Westside Provisons District, Ponce City Market, Shops Around Lenox, Perimeter Mall, Broughton Street in Savannah, and Avalon in Alpharetta.  The company also operates a showroom in Athens.       

In April, Kit & Ace, an upscale "athleisure" company launched by Shannon Wilson, wife of lululemon athletica founder Chip Wilson, and their son J.J. Wilson, closed all of their locations outside of Canada.  At the time of the announcement, the company operated only one location in metro Atlanta at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta. 

Are you or your kids Ivivva shoppers? If so, will you continue to patronize the company via its ecommerce site? What are your thoughts on the brand and its offerings?  

Please share your thoughts below   


Anonymous said...

Personally would never pay those prices for athletic apparel. Also regarding E commerce / internet sales --- FREE shipping is NEVER free (someone is paying for it). While the business may have absorbed some of the cost to entice more web purchases, those costs are most likely shifting heavily to the customer going forward. Since the customer trend is purchasing hundreds of dollars to get "free" shipping, only to return it to a brick and mortar to avoid shipping, then consumers IMHO are in for a rude awakening.

Anonymous said...

It became obvious that the business model was changing when people would order items online and then return them to the stores for refund rather than pay shipping charges back to the warehouse.

Coolio said...

Are people returning the items to stores in a large scale, or is this purely speculation? @ Anon

Anonymous said...

@ Coolio Here is one story I found

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