Lululemon may be known more for yoga pants than for athletic shoes or outfitting male athletes, but that might change over the next five years.
The brand outlined long-term goals this week that would place it more firmly in Under Armour’s long-held territory, a plan some see as intensifying competition with the Baltimore-based athletic apparel maker.
During its investor day Wednesday, Lululemon said that by 2023 it plans to more than double its men’s apparel and digital sales and boost international growth in places such as China. And executives said they will look to expand the sneaker line launched about a year and a half ago.
“While we view [Lululemon’s] targets as easily achievable, we see [the company’s] aggressive trajectory challenging [Under Armour’s] achievement of its investor day targets,” analyst Camilla Yanushevsky, said in a report Thursday.
Under Armour, like Lululemon, sees its biggest growth opportunities in online sales and branded stores, footwear and international sales. While Lululemon is going after male customers, Under Armour started in that category and has been expanding its women’s products.
Under Armour “will have a tough time chasing [Lululemon’s] fitness crowd,” said Yanushevsky, an equity analyst at CFRA Research, noting that Lululemon has strong brand loyalty and is expected to make strides capturing Under Armour’s men’s market.
During its own investor day in December, Under Armour said that it has stabilized its North American business after the second year of a three-year reorganization and was poised to apply a revised strategy for growth to other parts of the world.
The brand has said it has positioned itself to grow in places such as China, India, Mexico and Argentina and expand in sports such as running and training.